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Norwich university lecturers on strike over pay and pensions

PUBLISHED: 10:10 20 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:21 20 February 2020

The University of East Anglia campus in Norwich. Picture: UEA

The University of East Anglia campus in Norwich. Picture: UEA

UEA

Lecturers at the University of East Anglia are on strike over an ongoing pay and pensions dispute.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at 74 UK institutions, including the UEA in Norwich, are staging a 14-day walkout.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: "The support from students on the picket lines, through social media and on campus since the strikes at the end of last year has been phenomenal, and a little overwhelming.

"We are so pleased to have received this support and appreciate that students understand how our working conditions are their learning conditions."

UCU members will hold strikes between February 20 and March 13, and the union has estimated that more than a million students will be affected.

The strikes are over two separate disputes, one on pensions and the other on pay and conditions.

University employers in the pensions row said that they "regret" UCU's decision to strike, while those representing institutions in the pay and conditions dispute said they were "dismayed".

Almost half of students back the strike action, according to a poll but there are worries about the impact on studies.

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The online survey, by The Student Room, found that 47pc think that it is right for lecturers to strike.

This is the second round of industrial action by UCU members in the ongoing bitter disputes.

The first saw 60 universities hit by walkouts in November and December 2019.

The National Union of Students supports the strike action, believing firmly in showing solidarity with other unions which are fighting to make education better.

They have created can online template where students can express their feelings in a letter to their vice chancellor.

The UEA is open as normal, but students have received emails warning that some lectures, tutorials, seminars, lab work and assessments may be affected.

One UEA English literature student, who didn't want to be named, said: "I understand the reason for striking but it's difficult to empathise as it impacts heavily on the education I pay a lot of money for."

Another said: "It's good that lecturers stand up for themselves and I understand why they're doing it. They wouldn't be so disruptive if it wasn't a big issue."

Another student added: "I just hope the strike is successful in its aim, I'd be frustrated if this was all for nothing."


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