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.

Three days of strike action and ongoing action short of strike (ASOS) is planned by the University and College Union (UCU), one of the recognised unions at the University. Our 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. 

Our actions as a University community will be guided by three underlying principles. These are to:

  1. Protect the interests of students​
  2. Retain the cohesion of our community 
  3. Protect the standard of Leeds awards​.

Planned action

Three days of strike action are planned, these will take place on Wednesday 1, Thursday 2 and Friday 3 December 2021. 

Action short of strike (ASOS) will take place from Wednesday 1 December continuously until no later than Tuesday 3 May 2022, ASOS will consist of UCU members only working their contracted hours and duties, and not volunteering to do more.

Tackling the issues at Leeds

UCU balloted its members on two areas; proposed changes to USS pension and pay and other related issues.

The future of the USS pension scheme – the subject of the first ballot – can only be resolved at a national level, via a statutory process involving all the parties. It cannot be solved by this or any other university alone, and we hope that all parties remain open to talking, despite the outcome of the ballot. A statutory employee consultation is open until Monday 17 January 2022, providing scheme members and eligible employees with a route to share any comments or concerns about changes proposed to the scheme by Universities UK (UUK), representing employers.

During this period, we are offering independent information sessions alongside this consultation, for you to join and hear from Mercer, an independent pension expert, about the proposals. 

Most of the other issues in dispute – which were the subject of the second ballot – are within our gift to tackle. We are already taking action at Leeds to address UCU’s concerns about workload and casualisation. Commitments to improve these areas are already firmly part of our strategic plans, as talked about recently at the all staff Fairer Future for All events, and demonstrated by our Fairer Future For All pledges.

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