UCU members at Coventry University begin two-day strike

UCU members at Coventry University today begin a two-day strike over staff appraisals.

Lecturers have already taken five days of strike action as part of the dispute, which centres on the university’s controversial appraisal system. The union says the system forces staff to jump through unnecessary hoops to achieve an annual pay award that is standard at other institutions.

The union said the new system, introduced in 2017, is even worse than its predecessor which left academic staff at Coventry earning over £5,000 less on average than those at other West Midlands universities.

The union said it was disappointed that the university had failed to address staff concerns about the appraisal system during negotiations in recent weeks, leaving members with no option but to take further strike action. In the recent ballot at the university, three quarters of UCU members (75%) who voted backed strike action, while nine in ten staff (88%) voted for action short of a strike.

UCU regional official Anne O’Sullivan said: “Strike action is never taken lightly, but the university has completely failed to address staff concerns during recent talks so members have been left with no option but to walk out again. If the university wants to avoid further disruption, it needs to scrap the current appraisal system and work with us to agree a fairer approach that would see staff receive pay increases on a similar basis to other UK universities.”

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