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Scottish universities to be hit by eight days of strike action

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) will walk out from Monday November 25 to Wednesday December 4 at 12 institutes north of the border.

The University of Edinburgh is one of eight institutes involved in both disputes (Jane Barlow/PA)
The University of Edinburgh is one of eight institutes involved in both disputes (Jane Barlow/PA)

By Douglas Barrie, PA Scotland

Universities in Scotland will be hit by eight days of strike action as a result of two separate disputes.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at 12 Scottish institutes will walk out from Monday November 25 to Wednesday December 4, along with 48 other universities across the UK.

The disputes centre on changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) and issues including a failure to improve pay, equality, casualisation and workloads.

  • Both disputes: Heriot-Watt University, University of Aberdeen, University of Dundee, University of Stirling, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, University of St Andrews, University of Strathclyde
  • Pay and conditions dispute only: Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow School of Art, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
  • USS pensions dispute only: Scottish Association of Marine Science

Last week, members backed the action in ballots over both pensions and pay and working conditions, with turnouts in Scotland of 56.9% and 56.5% on the respective issues.

More than three-quarters (78%) backed the industrial action over USS changes, while 73% were in favour of strikes in the other dispute.

UCU Scotland official Mary Senior said: “This first waves of strikes will hit universities later this month unless the employers sit down and start talking seriously about how they will deal with declining pay and conditions and increasing pension costs.

“Universities should be in no doubt about the level of anger across university campuses on these issues.”

Eight universities are involved in both disputes: Heriot-Watt, Aberdeen, Dundee, Stirling, Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews and Strathclyde.

Three institutes – Glasgow Caledonian, Glasgow School of Art and Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University – are only part of the pay and conditions dispute.

The Scottish Association of Marine Science is also only in the USS pensions dispute.

Members will also begin “action short of a strike” when they return to work after the walkout.

PA

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