Executive Committee Statement on University and College Union Industrial Action

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The UK Social Policy Association executive committee wishes to respond to the upcoming University and College Union (UCU) industrial action and express support for our members taking part. 

In February and March 2022 members of the UCU across 68 UK universities will participate in 10 days of strike action, which has been called in relation to both the USS pension scheme dispute and the Four Fights campaign concerning pay, workload, equality and casualisation. More information can be accessed via the UCU’s news release here. We recognise the existence of these issues and share concerns about the erosion of staff renumeration, employment security and wellbeing, among other issues affecting the sector. We therefore encourage employers to make efforts to engage with and come up with constructive proposals to meet the demands of higher education staff.

As a learned society we exist to support our members and our academic discipline. Many SPA members are taking part in this action, and we give our full support to them. Our thoughts are also with those who may face financial and other pressures as a result of their participation.

Our Activities and Communications

While not all of our members are affiliated to the UCU or will be taking part in this action, in support of those who are doing so the SPA will not issue any promotional or general communications (such as via social media, email, or our website) on the days in which official strike action is taking place. Likewise, SPA executive members will not engage in any non-urgent SPA-related business, including responding to external queries, on strike days.

Exceptions to this may include urgent communications in which case the SPA will re-issue such communications after the strike. However we do not anticipate that sending any such messages during strike days will be necessary.

We invite any members who have queries about this statement or the SPA executive committee’s actions during the strike period to contact us at: admin@social-policy.org.uk

Executive Committee, Social Policy Association