University strikes in Yorkshire: why universities are striking, which ones are taking part and all the UCU strike dates

Staff from 74 universities across the UK will walk out for 14 days spread across February and March, culminating in a week-long walkout from March 9 to March 13.

University staff will hold strikes over pay and changes to pension in February and March (PA Media)

The Universities of Sheffield, Leeds, York and  and Huddersfield are among the participating schools, who will strike over the course of four weeks.  

Spearheaded by the University and College Union (UCU), the strikes could bring disruption for millions of students.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Strikes over the same issues took place in November and December of 2019.

Why are university staff walking out?

The action hinges on two main disputes: one relating to pensions and the other to pay and work conditions.

A series of changes made to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) since 2011, means that staff are paying more into their pensions, but ultimately missing out on tens of thousands of pounds, according to the UCU. 

According to the UCU, a typical member of the scheme will pay around £40,000 more into their pension, but receive nearly £200,000 less in retirement leaving - this would leave them £240,000 worse off in total.

Members are also striking over the decline in value of staff pay. 

According to Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), pay of staff has dropped by around 17% in real terms since 2009. 

The UCU claim that staff pay has actually fallen by 20% in that time, as pay awards in higher education have resulted in a cumulative increase of 11%, but in the same time period the RPI (retail price index) has increased by 31.8%.

When are the strikes?

Fourteen days of strikes will take place over four weeks in February and March. 

Week one: February 20 and 21

Week two: February 24 to 26

Week three: February 2 to 5

Week four: February 9 to 13.

Full list of UK universities affected

Both disputes (47):

Aston University Bangor University Cardiff University University of Durham Heriot-Watt University Loughborough University Newcastle University The Open University The University of Bath The University of Dundee The University of Leeds The University of Manchester The University of Sheffield University of Nottingham The University of Stirling University College London The University of Birmingham The University of Bradford The University of Bristol The University of Cambridge The University of Edinburgh The University of Exeter The University of Essex The University of Glasgow The University of Lancaster The University of Leicester City University Goldsmiths College Queen Mary University of London Royal Holloway, University of London The University of Reading The University of Southampton The University of St Andrews Courtauld Institute of Art The University of Strathclyde The University of Wales The University of Warwick The University of York The University of Liverpool The University of Sussex The University of Aberdeen The University of Ulster Queen's University Belfast Birkbeck College, University of London SOAS, University of London The University of Oxford The University of East Anglia

Pay and conditions dispute only (22):

Bishop Grosseteste University Bournemouth University Edge Hill University Glasgow Caledonian University Glasgow School of Art Liverpool Hope University Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh St Mary's University College, Belfast Roehampton University Sheffield Hallam University The University of Brighton The University of Kent Bath Spa University Royal College of Art University of Huddersfield University of Winchester University of East London Leeds Trinity University UAL University  of the Arts London De Montfort University University of Greenwich

USS pensions dispute only (5):

Scottish Association of Marine Science Institute for Development Studies Keele University King's College London Imperial College London