Sheffield University hit by its fourth day of staff strikes

17 February 2022

Sheffield University has today been hit by its fourth day of strikes, with staff protesting over work conditions and pension cuts. 

The University and College Union last month announced their plans for 10 days of campus strikes throughout February and March.

University of Sheffield staff have been taking to the picket lines to campaign against the cut in pensions. 

The Union have said staff face a 35% cut to their retirement income, and the strike is a “fight for the future of education”.

Law and criminology lecturer, David Hayes

David Hayes, Criminal law lecturer at the University of Sheffield said: he is protesting for the protection of staff pensions, which are under immediate threat.

Mr Hayes, aged 34, said: “These strikes are also useful to begin a national conversation about the workload of staff, the gender and equality pay gap, and especially deflation of pay.” 

University lecturers have seen pay decrease by 20% over the last ten years.

Mr Hayes said: “The last academic year has been absolutely atrocious. The workload being put on us has forced us to take this position. It had a rather negative effect on my life and my mental health. 

We have tried to negotiate but we have been pushed and pushed into a corner. Striking is the only option that is left open to us.” 

Yas Waldie, 19, Business student at the University of Sheffield said: “It is completely unfair that my learning is again being disrupted. 

“I have assessments in week five, and my teaching will be hindered by these strikes. I’m worried that it’s going to affect my grades.” 

University lecturers are not being paid for the days they are on strike, and the union have asked them not to reschedule teaching.

Photo of the strikes today, image by @sheffieldUCU on twitter.

Many lecturers are still providing online materials so students don’t miss out. 

Sam Quine, aged 19, Journalism student at the University of Sheffield said: “I’m really pleased that my learning hasn’t been affected. 

I understand that the strikes are for good reason however I am thankful that our lecturers are still offering sessions online.” 

The union is asking for a £2500 pay rise for all staff. 

UCU secretary Jo Grady said: “The action that will hit 68 universities down to vice-chancellors who have failed staff and students.”

Journalism lecturer, Matt Robson, at the Mappin Street picket line.

Journalism lecturer Matt Robson said: “I’m striking because I’m just really disappointed with how the University have been handling my pensions and workplace conditions.”

 

 

Written by Tia Xiourouppas

Hi there! Im Tia and I am a first-year journalism student! I'm not completely sure what type of journalism I'd prefer to go into; my two greatest interests being politics and fashion means my career options don't always go hand in hand. Instead, I'm waiting to try out all modes of journalism and see what suits me best!

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Written by Tia Xiourouppas

Hi there! Im Tia and I am a first-year journalism student! I'm not completely sure what type of journalism I'd prefer to go into; my two greatest interests being politics and fashion means my career options don't always go hand in hand. Instead, I'm waiting to try out all modes of journalism and see what suits me best!
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