Across the country, university lecturers and support staff will begin eight days of strike action next week amid disputes over staff pensions, pay and working conditions.
More than a million students are thought to be potentially impacted by the nationwide walkout including those at Bournemouth University, but polls suggest the majority are in support of the decisions made by staff to take action.
Members of BU University and College Union will begin their week-plus strike action on Monday 25th November continuing until Wednesday 4th December, striking for equality and specifically focusing on race and the gender pay gap.
The strike is described as being historic for BU UCU, which has mobilised the largest strike action since the branch began. With more than 360 members, and more joining every day, there was a 55% turnout in the national vote, with more than 70% voting for strike action.
The focus on the gender pay gap comes as data shows female academics at BU and across the sector to be making 15% less than their male counterparts for doing the exact same job, as well as also have a difficult time getting promoted.
BAME women make 9% less than their white counterparts across the sector, with some even taking the decision to leave BU because they cannot progress their careers.
The UCU at the univeristy is also taking action next week to fight against casualisation; with many lecturers on zero-hour contracts and some making less than £10 an hour, topped with increased workloads and toxic stress, they received 90% of support from students in regards to the strike action.
Fight for pay remains top of the agenda throughout the action after reports of pay for university staff being seen to have plummeted in real-terms in the last decade. Their figures showed a drop of around 17% in real-terms since 2009.
Action short of strike is also due to take place next Monday, where the picket is being held at Poole Gateway, and is set to continue until further notice. BU UCU describes the action short of a strike to involve:
- working to contract
- not covering for absent colleagues
- not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action
- not undertaking any voluntary activities