Lecturers and other staff at around 40 UK universities staged a new round of strike action on Monday in a long-running dispute over pay and working conditions, upsetting students as many were on campus for their “youth week”, or first week. in university.
The Union of Universities and Colleges, which represents thousands of academic staff, said there would be strike action until Friday at many institutions.
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The union said members at 140 universities were due to join the walkouts, but the action is now on a much smaller scale and only targets “the worst employers” after deals were struck with several colleges.
Institutions affected this week include the University of Liverpool, the University of Oxford, the University of Manchester and the Royal College of Art.
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Union members say their wages in real terms have fallen and have not kept up with rising inflation. They are also calling for more job security and an end to short-term contracts.
Thousands of students have already been affected this summer by the landmark boycott by professors at dozens of universities.
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Academics refused to mark exam papers and courses as part of the escalating industrial action, leaving many final year students unable to graduate or stuck with indefinite delays in receiving their final grades.