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UCU Strike Action (Feb-March 2023)

Crowd protesting with placards

As a Students' Union, we stand in solidarity with the 70,000 striking university staff across the country.

Our Officer team will work with our local University and College Union (UCU) representatives and Sheffield Hallam University to resolve issues at a local level to reduce the impact on our students and their studies.

However, this industrial action results from a national dispute, so the focus of our work will be in partnership with NUS and other Students' Union leaders across the country to coordinate a collective response.

When will the strikes take place?

The UCU will take part in 18 days of strike action across the following dates:

  • Wednesday 1 February
  • Thursday 9 February to Friday 10 February
  • Tuesday 14 February to Thursday 16 February
  • Tuesday 21 February to Thursday 23 February (PAUSED)
  • Monday 27 February to Thursday 2 March (PAUSED)
  • Wednesday 15 March to Friday 17 March
  • Monday 20 March to Wednesday 22 March

Why is industrial action taking place?

Members of UCU will take industrial action to lobby their employers by demanding better pay, working conditions, and pensions. The strike is a last resort after failed negotiations between the UCU and employers.

How will students be affected in the short-term?

The more students support these issues, the less their education will be disrupted. However, students can expect to see some disruption in their learning as some classes may be cancelled because of staff taking strike action.

Your timetable during strike action

The University will make every effort to contact you about any changes or cancellations to scheduled teaching, but they may not know about any changes until after the event. Please be aware that staff members are not obliged to tell the University of their intention to participate in the strike. We advise you to attend any scheduled sessions as normal unless you are informed otherwise.

If the member of staff scheduled to deliver your session does not arrive after 10 minutes from the planned start time, please assume that they will not attend because of strike action. You will be advised by your Department as soon as possible about arrangements to make up for teaching or any learning lost due to strike action.

Staff are not paid for the days on which they take strike action. All of the pay withheld from staff who take action is moved to a financial support fund to provide extra support for students.

Submitting assessments

Marking of assessments will continue during this period and you should submit your work as advised. There may be a delay in receiving marks if they are due to be returned during periods when strike action is taking place.

Strikes in other sectors

On some of the UCU strike days, including Wednesday 1 February, unions in other sectors, such as transport, schools and healthcare, will be taking action. This may affect the ability of staff and students to get to campus. You will receive additional advice from your Department about arrangements that will be put in place to deal with this potential additional disruption.

How will students benefit in the long-term?

Staff resorting to industrial action is not a decision taken lightly. In the long term, students can expect to see better learning outcomes, better quality teaching and, overall, an improved working environment for staff.

Need further support?

If you have questions, please continue to use your normal channels to contact academic staff and other services. The University, libraries, helpdesks, and other services will remain open as normal on strike days. If you are on campus, you can use learning facilities such as libraries and study spaces as usual.

If you are feeling anxious because of this strike action, you can take advantage of the University's Student Support Services or the Students' Union Advice Centre.

Read our policy on industrial action


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