For Staff

Industrial action

An aerial view of the University campus with the text Industrial action written on the right-hand side

This section carries the latest news, information and guidance from Leeds, for all colleagues, during the dispute.  

Planned industrial action 

On 3 February UCU announced that it intends to proceed with a further period of strike action at 74 institutions, including Leeds, in relation to ongoing disputes about pay and pensions.

Strikes are planned for 14 days, over four weeks:

  • Week 1: Thursday 20 and Friday 21 February
  • Week 2: Monday 24, Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 February
  • Week 3: Monday 2, Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4 and Thursday 5 March
  • Week 4: Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 and Friday 13 March

This follows an earlier period of strikes in November and December 2019. The announcement of the planned strikes has come despite the following significant progress, in recent weeks, on both pay and pensions.

  • Pay: The Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) has presented a range of proposals to address some of the issues at the centre of the ongoing dispute, focusing on casual employment, workload/mental health and gender pay gaps/ethnicity pay. This follows two months of constructive dialogue with the UCU.
  • Pensions: Following the publication of the second report by the Joint Expert Panel (made up equally of employers’ and scheme members’ representatives), talks have been ongoing between UCU, Universities UK and USS to address some of the longer term issues associated with the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS). A series of statements have been issued following these meetings, highlighting the positive progress made to date.

Action short of strike (ASOS) is also ongoing continuously, until no later than 29 April 2020.

The University's priority throughout this time is to minimise any disruption to students and to ensure we continue to communicate with colleagues about the issues at the heart of this action. 

Principles during industrial action

Our actions as a University community throughout this time will be guided by these underlying principles: 

  • The right of students to receive a quality education.
  • The right of employees to attend work.
  • The right to participate in industrial action.
  • The right of all people to be treated with respect and in a professional way. 

The standards and expectations of respect and professionalism remain in place as they do throughout the year. Our existing Code of Conduct on Professional Behaviours and Dignity and Mutual Respect Policy apply to all, whether or not they participate in industrial action.  

Questions and answers 

Our questions and answers web page has been developed for all colleagues, we’ll be regularly updating the page throughout the industrial action.

Stay up to date

Leading up to and throughout the strike period we’ll continue to communicate with you through eNews extra, a regular all-staff email in addition to our usual fortnightly eNews. eNews extra will bring together a range of information specifically related to the planned industrial action. In between editions, you can keep up to date via this page.

You can also follow staff news on Twitter @UniLeedsStaff, where we’ll link to new updates.

See also

USS Pension, In depth webpage 
Useful links, latest news and next steps relating to the 2017 and 2018 USS valuations.

Pay 2019 - 2020, In depth webpage
Information about the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) Higher Education 2019-20 pay negotiations.

Student Q&A
Student questions answered on how any future industrial action could affect them. 


UCU has announced its intention to take industrial action at Leeds

Planned strike action and action short of strike (ASOS) relating to the issues of USS pension, and pay and conditions will take place at a number of universities, including Leeds.

Update on ballots for industrial action

The results of recent ballots by the University and College Union (UCU) signal possible industrial action this winter.

UCEA update on pay-related talks with UCU

UCEA and UCU met last week and held discussions on the dispute on pay and working conditions.

UUK and UCEA issue joint letter to staff at universities impacted by strike action

The letter from Universities UK (UUK) and the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) outlines the progress made to address concerns on pay, working conditions and pensions.

Message from the Vice-Chancellor: Industrial action related to pensions and pay

Vice-Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands, has written to all staff about the prospect of another period of industrial action, due to commence on Thursday 20 February:

USS pension: update on joint talks on future of scheme

The fifth statement from the meeting of member and employer representatives to discuss the future of the USS has been published.

Browse Industrial action by date

Page last updated: 28 February 2020
Page first published: 5 November 2019