The University and College Union (UCU) announced this week that the country will face a huge wave of strikes between February and March, with over 70,000 union members set to take part.
The news comes as strikes across several industries continue into the new year up and down the UK.
The UCU has a branch in Bournemouth meaning several professors and lecturers across both Bournemouth University and the Arts University of Bournemouth shall be involved.
Lecturer of architecture Willem de Brajin, who is part of the UCU, stated that the strikes are “divisive among colleagues”.
“I do think they are necessary. We are striking for better pay, better pensions and on working conditions. There is a lot at stake and I hope we will achieve something.
“The strikes can be quite divisive among colleagues. You see some continue working and some that don’t.
“It is also true that if we achieve something, like we already have with the offer of 5% pay rise, they would also benefit from that whereas we were on strike taking a pay cut to achieve this.”
News followed this morning with plans to increase the strikes to 18 days, something which came to the surprise of union member Mr de Brajin.
“It was a bit of a surprise to see that decision made. I was not happy reading about it in the newspapers. It didn’t come through on email until later on.
“So it was a surprise to see that decision about the 18 days without actually having a vote. We did vote in favour of escalation but not with any details.”
With a split across the country between teachers striking and those who are not, universities will be facing problems nationwide for damage limitation.
Providing an insight, head lecturer Josh Reed explained his reasons for not supporting the current actions of the UCU.
“I agree in principle with what they are fighting for but the way they’re doing it, I don’t necessarily agree with myself.
“The unions have asked for action strike, which will mean not marking work and stuff like that. The only people that it actually inconveniences is the students rather than the university itself. I don’t really like to inconvenient students ever.
“It is a very long time. One of the things that does concern me is covering for lessons and teaching.”
The strikes scheduled for between February and March aim to intensify the situation in order to force the hand of the government during the talks.
An offer of a 5% pay rise is on the table, but the UCU have stated that this is “not enough”.