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BERA statement on the UCU industrial action

BERA acknowledges that many of our members are currently engaging in further industrial action organised by the University and College Union (UCU). We express solidarity with those taking part in the action, we recognise both the importance of this action and the fact that it arises out of the very challenging environment faced by those working in higher education, and we understand the sacrifices being made by all involved. Our President, Dominic Wyse has blogged on these larger issues.

As an independent learned society and registered charity, BERA’s activities involve engaging across higher education and wider communities, especially those involved in policy and practice. Our membership includes teachers, policymakers and members of the public as well as academics – including those who are not members of the UCU, or who are part of institutions in which the union is not currently engaging in this particular industrial action. BERA itself is not subject to the strike action currently underway, and as an independent charity we must ensure that we do not engage in secondary action.

BERA will of course do everything in our power to support our members in appropriate ways during this period. We will be sympathetic towards those wishing to cancel attendance at any events; liaise with academics who have organised events regarding whether we need to postpone them; and, where necessary, extend deadlines that fall within this period of strike action.

BERA will continue to be vocal about many of the issues that form part of this industrial action, particularly the need for a sustainable and fairly treated workforce. There is a strong personal consensus among BERA staff and our Council – as well, we are sure, within our wider membership – on the issues that are being raised as part of this industrial action. Our major initiative on the state of the discipline will, in part, look to address these issues and raise their profile as it progresses.

Members may also be interested in the blog written by Dominic Wyse that coincided with the last period of industrial action in early 2020.