HUK statement on current industrial action

Statement from the HUK executive in relation to the current strike action:

History UK is an independent national body promoting and monitoring History in UK Higher Education. We originated in the 1980s when two parallel organisations developed: the History at the Universities Defence Group (HUDG) (for universities) and the Campaign for Public Sector History (PUSH) (for polytechnics, colleges and institutes of higher education) were formed to defend the history profession against proposed cuts. The groups merged and became History UK in 2005. In this spirit we would like to state our support for academics involved in the current industrial action. Whilst we cannot directly take sides in the current strike action, we understand this is an issue of utmost importance to our members and to the future of Higher Education.

History UK believes universities should try to maintain the conditions of employment under which academics were originally employed. That includes pensions. Academics often face significant insecurity as the beginning of their professional life, many academics forgo better salaries and conditions outside academia because of their commitment to teaching and research, postgraduate and early career academics are now facing a sector which is increasingly characterised by precarity. The undermining of the USS pensions significantly adds to this insecurity. We hope that the dispute will be speedily resolved and we are encouraged to see that ACAS have started conciliation talks between UCU and the Universities UK group.