University strikes cost £8 million a day, say campaigners

Free market campaign group the TaxPayers’ Alliance has said the cost of recent university strikes is equivalent to the tuition fees for 10,285 British undergraduates’ degrees.

Their analysis shows that since 2018, the total cost of the 36 strike days is £285.4 million, equivalent to £8 million per day. The University and College Union (UCU) once again balloted this month over pensions alongside pay and working conditions for staff. The fresh wave of strikes come after students faced a year or more of online lectures and disruption, due to strike days and the Covid pandemic.

The UCU, led by one of the top 20 best-paid trade union bosses, has pursued strike action over pensions despite concerns about the generosity of existing schemes. According to the latest Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, the higher education USS pension scheme is in the top 20 per cent of contributors. It is also in the top half of the most generous public sector schemes.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance is calling on university union bosses to stop further disruption, in the interests of hard-pressed students and taxpayers.