University and civil servants stage new strikes as UK labor unrest continues

University staff and civil servants staged more strikes on Tuesday as labor unrest continues to wreak havoc in the UK public sector.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU), which spans 150 UK universities, have launched the first of a three-day strike action this week as part of a dispute over wages, pensions and working conditions.

Members of UCU will also go on strike on Wednesday and Thursday, with lectures and seminars canceled on most UK university campuses.

About 100 members of the British Museum’s Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, who work in the visitor services and security teams, have been on strike all week as part of a dispute over salaries, pensions, conditions of dismissal and job security. are doing

Members of the PCS are also on strike this week at the Department of Work and Pensions, the Drivers License Authority (DVLA) and the Department of Animal and Plant Health.

They will join Border Force staff in Dover, Calais, Coquelles and Dunkirk on Friday.

“Anger and Frustration”

UCU said it would re-vote its members so that university staff could take further industrial action throughout the rest of the school year if their demands were not met.

The union entered a second day of negotiations on Tuesday with the College and College Employers Association (UCEA), which represents 144 employers, through mediation service Acas.

The UCEA offered a salary of 5-8%, which was rejected by the union.

UCU President Janet Farrar told Sky News:

When LBC News asked if students should be given compensation for the strike interruption, Farrar said: Then they are perfectly qualified to do it.

“But that anger and frustration should be directed there, not at our members.”

A Universities UK (UUK) spokesperson said:

“If a student feels that their studies are being adversely affected and alternatives are insufficient, they should first contact their university. All universities have complaint procedures in place and the process can be found on their website is explained in

“If a student is not satisfied with the response from the university, it can escalate the situation.”

“Appropriate salary increase” is required

From the British Museum picket line on Tuesday, PCS general secretary Mark Serwodka told PA news agency:

“Some of the people who work here are working minimum wage. People are so poor that they claim benefits.

“British museum workers need a decent wage increase, and so do all public sector workers, and we are determined to fight until we get it.”

Trade Union Congress (TUC) general secretary Paul Nowak told PA: The public sector worker also says he can’t afford a one-year real wage cut, so it’s hard for the government to listen to workers’ concerns, listen to unions’ concerns, and pay salaries. is very important. “


The UK will lose 843,000 working days to labor disputes in December 2022, the highest since November 2011, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The surge in days lost came after a series of industrial action involving workers from the post office, the rail sector and the National Health Service (NHS).

Darren Morgan, Director of Economic Statistics, ONS, said: Transport and telecommunications remained the hardest-hit sectors, but the health sector also made a big contribution this month. “

ONS data showed normal wage growth of 6.7% in the three months to December, the strongest rate of growth seen outside of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, wages continued to be overtaken by rising prices. Taking into account inflation in the consumer price index, his regular salary fell by 3.6% in the three months he compared to the previous year.

Wage growth in the public sector has been significantly lower than that in the private sector.

The ONS said public sector wages grew just 4.2% last quarter, lagging behind private sector wage growth of 7.3%.

PA Media contributed to this report.