University College Union USS strikes: If you can’t beat them, join them

I remember the buzz (or lack of) around university that comes when the first semester is over. January exams, coursework deadlines and the rush to cram in as much before the year ends sees many students in the library into the early hours of the morning, with a stark reminder to buckle down.

Now imagine starting this intense period with lectures being cancelled, work being left unmarked and the inability to book meetings with your tutor. If you study at one of the 60 or so universities where staff are members of the UCU (University and College Union), this is probably a reality for you. From the end of February into mid-March, lecturers and others are partaking in a series of USS strikes over changes to their USS pension scheme. I’ve always wondered how strikes work; of course, they raise awareness, but how do they help to make a change?

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