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UCU announces strikes | 14 days at 74 UK universities

Keep an eye on this page for all the strike updates and info.

The Students' Union supports the strikes: Informed by student opinion, our statement of support for the strikes still stands.

When will the strikes take place?

Strike action will start on Thursday 20 February and escalate each week, ending in a week-long walkout from Monday 9 March to Friday 13 March.

The full strike dates are as follows:

  • Week one - Thursday 20 & Friday 21 February
  • Week two - Monday 24, Tuesday 25 & Wednesday 26 February
  • Week three - Monday 2, Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4 & Thursday 5 March
  • Week four - Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 & Friday 13 March

Why are the strikes happening?

There are two overarching reasons:

  1. Pensions: University staff are paying far more for their pension, but will lose tens of thousands of pounds in retirement. 

  2. Universities' failure to make significant improvements on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads. Pay of university staff has dropped by around 17% in real-terms since 2009.

See the UCU infographic at the bottom of this page for a visual guide to why the strikes are happening.

More useful information:


Support services information : 

  • Student Support Unit : this page has up to date information, at the moment they are running a limited service, and there is no drop-in available, but an advisor is available on the phone ( 01273 877466 ) and email ( disabilitysupport@sussex.ac.uk )  10am -4pm 


  • Student Life Support : is currently running their normal service, website and updates here, information desk is open 9am-5pm every weekday, and drop-in 11am-4pm 



Travel information:

Bus infomation during the strike 

Buses will not enter campus between 7.30am and 3pm each day during the strike action. They will terminate at the A27 stop just outside campus, not far from the Medical School.

From 7:30 - 9:30 a free wheelchair taxi will operate from North South road and will take disabled students anywhere around campus they need to get to.To speak to someone about the taxi service, call 01273 873465.

  • Because of the lack of buses, students with disabilities on campus can make use of a free minibus which will operate around campus between 9.30am and 3pm each day.

  • The mini bus will be accessible transport ready.

  • To be able to access the minibus, you can use any of the following:

    - Sunflower Lanyard (available from Falmer House/ Student Life Centre)

    - Helping Hand Bus Pass

    - A Concessionary Disabled Persons’ Bus Pass

See the minibus route map below (buses will do a campus round every 30 mins)


If you have a disability and need more advice, contact the Student Support Unit on 01273 877466 or email disabilitysupport@sussex.ac.uk.


If you want to get involved with other students in supporting the striking UCU staff members: 


UCU - University and College Union, UCU, is a trade union that represents a large number of University staff in the UK, such as lecturers, professional service staff and postgraduate students.

UUK - Universities UK, UUK, is a representative organisation for the UK's universities.

USS - Universities Superannuation Scheme, USS, is one of the largest principal private pension schemes for universities and other higher education institutions in the UK.

JNC - Joint Negotiating Committee, JNC, of the USS is a committee consisting of representatives from both UCU and UUK.

Industrial Action - Industrial action is action taken by employees as a protest which can, for example, take the form of either a strike or action short of a strike.

Strike - A strike is a refusal to work organised by a body of employees as a form of protest.

Action Short of a Strike - Action short of a strike is an organised action by a body of employees as a form of a protest through actions that, as the name suggests, are just short of a strike. UCU has announced that in this dispute action short of a strike means that their members will only work to contract; not cover for absent colleagues; not reschedule lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action; and not undertake any voluntary activities over the course of the announced strike dates.

Picket line - A boundary established by workers on strike, especially at the entrance to the place of work, which others are asked not to cross.


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