UCU Strike Action - September 2023

Crowd protesting with placards

UPDATE: University and College Union (UCU) members at Sheffield Hallam will no longer strike from Monday 25 to Friday 29 September after voting for it to be withdrawn.

Strike action may continue as planned at other universities during that period.

As a Students' Union, we stand in solidarity with the 70,000 striking university staff across the country. This industrial action results from an ongoing national dispute which also affects many other universities, 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.

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.

University facilities

The University, libraries, helpdesks and other student services will all remain open as normal. If you are on campus, you can use University learning facilities, such as libraries and study spaces, in the usual way.

Your timetable during strike action

The University will make every effort to contact you about any changes to or cancellations of scheduled in-person teaching or online learning, 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 in advance 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 of the planned start time, please assume they will not attend because of industrial action. If you are on campus, you can use other University learning facilities. You will be advised by your Department as soon as possible about arrangements to make up for teaching or learning lost as a result of strike action.

Staff are not paid for the days on which they take strike action, and 100% of the pay withheld from staff who take action is used to provide extra financial support for students.

Additional support services

Hallam Help

You can find the answers to frequently asked questions online or you can contact Hallam Help directly via their live chat service, by phone, email, or by visiting then on campus at one of their help points.


Adsetts and Collegiate libraries are open 24/7 and can be used for independent study if teaching is cancelled as a result of the strike.

Skills Centre Advisers and Learning and Teaching Support Librarians are available to provide advice on your written work, referencing, and other skills.

The full range of digital services and resources are also available, including Reading Lists Online, Subject Guides, and Library Search to support your course and assessment work.

View full information about the libraries

Student Support Adviser

Your Student Support Adviser can help and offer advice if you feel your ability to study is affected. You can talk to them about what other specialist services you can access across the University.

Student wellbeing

If you are feeling anxious or concerned about the strikes and their impact on you and your study, Student Wellbeing can help. They provide information and advice to support you and help you manage your studies.

Cost of living

We know that many of our students and their families are being affected by the current cost of living, so we've put together a range of support to help.

Cost of Living Hub

University cost of living support


The Multifaith Chaplaincy team provides spiritual and pastoral care, religious advice, and guidance, whatever your religious affiliation.

How does this affect my fees?

Your student fee covers a wide range of activities and services, including scheduled teaching sessions. The University are committed to ensuring alternative arrangements for any lost learning opportunities. They hope it will not be necessary to compensate students, but will continue to keep this under review.

Need further support?

If you have questions or concerns, please continue to use the usual channels to contact academic staff and other services. You can also contact our Student Advice Centre for free, confidential, and independent advice, or speak to your lecturer, academic adviser, or student support officer.

Read our policy on industrial action

Previous strike action

The UCU took part in 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
  • From Thursday 20 April (Action short of a strike)
  • Thursday 25 May to Friday 26 May
  • Wednesday 31 May
  • Thursday 1 June to Friday 2 June
  • Wednesday 7 June to Thursday 8 June
  • Wednesday 20 September to Friday 22 September