UCU Strike Action 2022

Following the recent poll to gather student voice on the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) strike action.  We’d like to first thank everyone who took part. It’s great to see so much engagement so that we can listen to your voice and be student-led. We received and verified 324 votes with:-

  • 201 votes (62%) in favour of us supporting the strike action
  • 39  votes (12%)  for us to take a neutral stance with regards the strike action
  • 83 votes (26%) for us to oppose the strike action 

The above numbers show that students have voted in favour of supporting the UCU strike and therefore the Students’ Union will be publicly supporting the strike and standing in solidarity with Leicester UCU.

What Action will take place?

UCU announced on November 8 the following information on strikes. The full strike dates in November are:

  • Thursday 24 November
  • Friday 25 November
  • Wednesday 30 November.

Staff will also begin industrial action short of strike action from Wednesday 23 November, which includes working to rule, refusing to make up work lost as a result of strike action and refusing to cover for absent colleagues. The action does not include a marking and assessment boycott at this stage.

If you have any questions, or want to chat further, please contact UCU or the University, respectively.

UCU & University positions on the strike action:

UCU and the University have provided statements as well as answers to the Executive Officer team's questions. 

UCU and University responses to questions from the SU:

Will the strikes impact my exams? Will students be assessed on missed content?


Where assessments are still to be set, we will recommend to our members that they avoid assessing students on content they have not been taught


If an assessment is due to be submitted on a strike day then students should ensure that it is submitted by the published deadline. Marking will take place after the strike days. Heads of School will be asked to ensure that students are not assessed on any missed content.

Will the strikes impact my lectures, seminars, and tutorials?

Strike action—the collective withdrawal of labour—is considered a basic democratic right. Staff members who participate in strike action, currently scheduled for 24, 25 and 30 November, will not carry out any of their work duties on those days, whether they were due to be involved teaching, research or administrative. The university will deduct three days' worth of pay from staff who participate in the strike. This kind of action is not something university staff undertake lightly. We are doing so because we feel we are at breaking point. Our pay has fallen by over 25% since 2009, which adds to the pressure of the cost of living crisis for our members.

Workloads are unbearable for many staff. There are huge ethnicity, gender and disability pay gaps in UK universities. Large amounts of work is now being undertaken by staff on "precarious" contracts, with no certainty how long they will be employed. This has implications for students. Our teaching conditions are your learning conditions, and we want to protect these. That’s why staff at 150 universities have overwhelmingly voted for strike action in UCU’s biggest ballot to date, and it is why the National Union of Students are in support of us. The University and College Union (UCU) is asking for a pay increase for all staff (Retail Price Index + 2%); an end to race, gender and disability pay injustice; a framework to eliminate zero-hours and other casualised contracts; meaningful action to tackle workloads, and revoke devastating pension cuts.


The impact of the action is likely to vary in different schools. Staff are not required to tell the University in advance if they will be taking strike action, although they are encouraged to let students know. We cannot say at this stage which teaching events may be cancelled.

What happens if my lecturer is on strike?

If your lecturer is on strike, they will cancel any teaching activities during strike days. They will also be unavailable by email on those days. However, we welcome students contacting us to ask us why we’re taking action. So please do not hesitate to contact your lecturer by email outside of strike days or to come and visit us at the picket lines, which we will organise at entrances to the campus on strike days. We will also hold a series of "teach-outs", open to staff and students, where we will speak on a range of issues on which the UCU campaigns.


If your lecturer is on strike then any planned teaching events that they were due to deliver will not take place. It may not be possible to reschedule them but we will make every effort to do so. Your lecturer may choose to tell you that they are taking industrial action. If you require support when a particular member of staff is taking industrial action then you should contact your personal tutor, if they are available, or professional services staff in your School who will be able to advise. Support is also available from Student Support Services.

How will medical students be affected by the strikes?

The strike will also apply to staff who are UCU members and who are teaching medical students.


If your lecturer is on strike then any planned teaching events that they were due to deliver will not take place. It may not be possible to reschedule them but we will make every effort to do so. Your lecturer may choose to tell you that they are taking industrial action. If you require support when a particular member of staff is taking industrial action then you should contact your personal tutor, if they are available, or professional services staff in your School who will be able to advise. Support is also available from Student Support Services.

What is the University doing to mitigate the effects from the strikes?

By far the most important thing that the management of the University of Leicester could do to resolve these issues, and end the associated disruption for students, would be to urge Universities UK, the body that represents employers, to take seriously our demands. Unfortunately, the University of Leicester has a gender pay gap above the national average, has insisted that it cannot afford a pay rise for staff, and has not made sufficient progress on casualisation and workloads.

We regret the impact that strikes have on those we teach. However, we are striking to ensure that all students—current and future—get the education they deserve, and to ensure that we are able to carry out research of the highest possible standard. We think universities should be genuine learning communities, in which we can all be proud of our work, not "teaching factories" designed to extract the maximum profit out of students for the lowest possible cost. Sadly, those running higher education in the UK do not seem to agree with us.


Students will not be assessed on any content that is missed due to the strike action. Staff will be asked to reschedule cancelled teaching where possible. Some module content will be available online and lecture capture will be available for teaching events that go ahead or are rescheduled. Students can utilise module resources that are available on Blackboard and module reading lists. Support for students will be available from staff who are not participating in the industrial action and from Student Support Services.

Will this be anything like the marking boycott?

The UCU is not currently undertaking a marking and assessment boycott, although members voted for “action short of strike” including the possibility, in the future, of engaging in such action. Again, we hope that Universities UK will reach an agreement with us before this becomes necessary.


The planned industrial action does not include an assessment and marking boycott so your work will be marked as normal. If there are any slight delays, for example if marked work is due back on a strike day, your School should keep you informed.

Will students know in advance?

UCU as a trade union is legally obliged to inform the University of Leicester in advance of any strike action or action such as a marking and assessment boycott. Individual members of staff are not required to tell the University in advance when they are taking industrial action. We are also committed to working with the students' union to inform students of our actions. We appreciate the solidarity students have shown us. Few people come to work in a university for the money or the glamour! We do it because we care about learning, our own and that of our students. We hope students will continue to support us in our efforts to ensure that the University of Leicester is a place where students can study in the best possible conditions.


Staff are not required to notify the University in advance if they are taking industrial action although they are encouraged to let students know. So at this stage, we cannot say whether students will be notified that teaching will not take place.

How will you fill in the gaps?



Students can utilise module resources that are available on Blackboard and online resources, including recorded teaching sessions, where available. We will endeavour to reschedule as many teaching events as possible.


Answers to your frequently asked questions:

Who is UCU?

UCU (Universities and Colleges Union) is a trade union representing the interests of University staff who have joined as members. UCU called the ballot for strike action and have released the terms upon which the strike could be ended.  

Who is UUK?

UUK (Universities UK) is the collective body representing the interests of Universities.  

Who is UCEA?

UCEA (Universities & Colleges Employers Association) represent Universities in national negotiations with trade unions, government bodies, funding councils and other relevant organisations.  

How Is Pay Negotiated?

Pay for University staff is negotiated at a national level by between UCEA and the five University sector trade unions, including UCU.

Should I submit my assessments if they are due to be submitted during the industrial action? 

You should submit all work by the published deadlines in line with the process your School advises. 

What are “picket lines?” 

A picket line is an area marked, usually at the entrance to a place of work. This area marks the space which striking staff ask others not to cross. You may see staff at the entrances to campus on strike days, with people holding placards and handing out information on why they are striking. Picket lines are friendly and peaceful demonstrations, so students have no cause for concern if you see one. 

Will the Library be open? 

The library will still be open as usual. Visit https://le.ac.uk/library/about/opening-hours for library hours and more information. 

Can I use my IT account? 

Your IT account will not be affected by the strikes. 

Is BUCS still taking place? 

BUCS will not be affected by the strikes and will be taking place as normal. 

Will Tier 4 Visa students be penalized if lectures or seminars are cancelled due to the strikes? 

Lectures, seminars and tutorials cancelled because of the strikes will not have an effect on the attendance requirements for Tier 4 Visas. 

Will Students’ Union services such as student activities, advice or representation be impacted by the strikes? 

All services run by the Students’ Union will remain open during strike days.

What is the Students’ Union doing now? 

We will continue to liaise with relevant stakeholders to end this dispute - the University and the UCU. We will encourage them to work with national bodies such as UUK (Universities UK) and UCEA (The Universities and Colleges Employers Association) - to re-open negotiations and end the dispute, and to minimize the impact of strike action on your educational experience. 

What is action short of a strike? 

This means staff won’t be doing anything beyond what is required in their contract, including not covering for absent colleagues, working extra hours to clear workload or doing any voluntary activities related to their role 

Who will be striking? 

Not all staff will be on strike. UCU members have a mandate to strike, but staff who aren’t in a UCU don’t have a mandate to do so. Not all UCU members will necessarily choose to strike, but they have a legal mandate to do so if they wish. As lecturers don’t have to inform the University before going on strike, they won’t know exactly how many UCU members will strike. 

Am I entitled to a compensation from the University? 

You have a right to make a complaint via the University’s complaints system. If you want advice on how to make a complaint to the University, please contact advice@le.ac.uk and the Students’ Union Advice Service will be able to advise you on processes and your rights 

Where can I get more support and information?

We know that the prospect of industrial action will cause some students concern. If you are concerned about the impact on your studies or welfare, you can contact your school/department or the SU Advice Service (advice@le.ac.uk) who offer free and confidential support via email. You can also contact the Welfare Service (welfare@leicester.ac.uk 


University of Leicester Students' Union
Percy Gee Building
University of Leicester
University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH
Write to Us: Email

Powered by MSL

The University of Leicester Students' Union is a registered charity no. 1137811 and a company limited by guarantee registered in England no. 7303101