Log in

Students' Union Executive Statement on UCU Strike



UCU members at the University of Sussex will be on strike on Wednesday 15th June. Members will be on a picket line on Southern Ring Road opposite Falmer House, on the pathway that joins the A27 Lewes Road to Falmer Railway station, and on the Knights Gate Road entrance to the campus, from 7am-3pm. 

UCU members at Sussex who would normally be taking part in examination boards in the Schools of Law; Politics and Sociology; Business, Management and Economics; Life Sciences; and Psychology and Global Studies, will not attend them. We will update this when more information becomes available.

The Students' Union Undergraduate Education Officer, Postgraduate Education Officer and President will not be attending the University's Senate in solidarity with staff on strike

The Students’ Union Executive (6 Full-Time Officers and 4 Part-Time Officers) support the two days of national strike action confirmed by the University and College Union (UCU).

UCU members working in higher education have voted in favour of strike action in UK universities in a row over pay and working conditions. The dispute has arisen following a pay offer of 1.1% from the employer body, the Universities and Colleges Employers' Association (UCEA). UCU have stated that that the latest offer does little to address the real terms pay cut of 14.5% suffered by higher education staff since 2009. Further to this, the gender pay gap means female academics are still paid on average 12.6% less than their male counterparts and over 75,000 academic staff are employed on insecure contracts like zero-hours or fixed-term posts. All of this is in the context of a rising cost of living. 

There will be two days of strike action on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 May. UCU members have also been asked to work strictly to the terms of their contracts from 25 May.  

We understand that some students will feel angry about the strike action and the impact that it may have on their learning. However the poor pay and working conditions of teaching staff will impact students, as overworked and underpaid staff will not be able to deliver the best teaching possible. PhD students who teach are also particularly affected by insecure contracts. 

We have been assured by UCU representatives that they do not intend for the strike action to interfere with students’ exams or assessments.

We ask that all Sussex students stand in solidarity with their fellow students and staff; we must not be divided by these attempts to undermine our educators. Our anger should be aimed at university managements, Universities UK and University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) who allow lucrative salary increases for vice-chancellors at the expense of staff; in 2014/15 the average vice-chancellor salary was £272,432, which was a 3% increase on the previous year and was 6.7 times the average pay of their staff that year.

How can you help?

  • Join staff on the picket line on Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th May.
  • Use the hashtag #fairpayinHE on social media
  • Write to the Vice-Chancellor and urge them to instruct UCEA to make an improved offer which acknowledges the concerns raised by staff. - vc@sussex.ac.uk
  • If you are a PhD student who teaches we encourage you to become a member of a trade union such as UCU.

You can find out more about the strike in our FAQs.



Contact us

Got a comment/criticism about anything discussed in this article? Let us know on our social media channels!



Related news

Find out who is running in the Spring Elections

Mon 25 Feb 2019

Elected officers and representatives are elected by you to work within the University and Students' Union to make things better for Sussex students. This could be as part of formal committees, through informal meetings, working on relevant projects and campaigns, and working closely with other officers, members of staff and students.

Sussex students represented at NUS Trans Students’ Conference 2019

Thu 14 Feb 2019

Ray Everall, Liam Dewan, Dorian Milburn and Nate Tomkings recently represented Sussex University students as delegates at the NUS Trans Conference 2019, which took place from 30 - 31 January in Manchester.

The Loop: responding to your feedback

Fri 08 Feb 2019

The Loop

Each month your full-time officers get together to look at what comments you have submitted to the Loop over the past month. These are categorised into what is going well, what is going less well, and ideas for improvement. This feedback is acted upon: specific comments are sent to the University to inform their service and to take action if necessary.

Winter Officer Reports

Thu 07 Feb 2019

Your elected Officers have been building on their work from last term, progressing their priorities and manifesto points. Here’s a summary of what each Officer has been up to!

Nominations for spring elected positions are now open!

Fri 14 Dec 2018

Nominate yourself for Full and Part-Time Officer roles, NUS Delegate and Student Trustee positions until 9am on the 11th of February!


This list is automatically generated

View all news »