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University of Kent staff from Canterbury and Medway campuses to strike in December


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Staff at the University of Kent will go on strike next month amid a row over pensions, pay and working conditions.

Workers from almost 60 institutions will be walking out for three days - with the University and College Union (UCU) saying the action will be just the start of "sustained disruption" if employers fail to negotiate.

Staff from the University of Kent, which has campuses in Canterbury and Medway will be going on strike ion December
Staff from the University of Kent, which has campuses in Canterbury and Medway will be going on strike ion December

Universities are set to be hit by the strikes between December 1 and 3 after UCU members backed action in two separate ballots earlier this month - one over pension cuts, and one over pay and working conditions.

The National Union of Students (NUS) is backing staff from the 58 institutions which are taking industrial action.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: "Strikes over three consecutive days are set to hit university campuses next month unless employers get round the table and take staff concerns over pension cuts, pay and working conditions seriously.

"UCU has repeatedly asked employers to meet with us to try to resolve these disputes.

"But while we set out pragmatic solutions that could halt widespread disruption to UK campuses, university bosses refuse to revoke unnecessary, swingeing pension cuts or even to negotiate on issues like casualisation and the unbearably high workloads that blight higher education.

The University of Kent is one of 58 institutions which are taking industrial action
The University of Kent is one of 58 institutions which are taking industrial action

"A resolution to this dispute is simple. But if employers remain intent on slashing pensions and exploiting staff who have kept this sector afloat during a pandemic then campuses will face strike action before Christmas, which will escalate into spring with reballots and further industrial action."

It is the latest in a long-running saga between staff and institutions - and follows the Covid pandemic where campuses were shut to most students.

Students also experienced strikes shortly before the first lockdown last year.

Some staff are striking over pensions in December, while others are striking over pay and working conditions.

Workers from the University of Kent, which has campuses in Canterbury and Medway, are one of the 33 institutions who are walking out over both.

The University of Kent has been contacted for comment.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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