The University and College union strikes have been suddenly paused to allow negotiations to continue in a ‘constructive environment’.
On Friday evening the UCU headquarters called a pause of two weeks.
This means that the strikes planned for late February and early March will no longer be going ahead.
Jo Grady, UCU secretary, said: “To allow our ongoing negotiations to continue in a constructive environment we have agreed to pause action across our pay and pension disputes for the next two weeks and create a period of calm.”
She added : “We want to make it absolutely clear that this is simply a pause.”
Further strike days towards the end of March are still due to go ahead as planned.
The University of Sheffield has been impacted by the UCU strikes over the last month.
Sheffield University and College Union has suggested that their members continue to follow Action Short of a Strike (ASOS) which encourages working to a contract, not rescheduling, not sharing materials related to cancelled activities, not covering for absent colleagues and not undertaking voluntary activities.
In response to the pause the University of Sheffield sent a message to staff which read: “This hiatus has been called to reflect the progress in talks between the trade unions including UCU, and employer representatives the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), in discussions facilitated by Acas, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.”
Despite the disruption the union has received a great deal of support from students.
Joe Brindle, a student at the University of Sheffield, shared on twitter last week: “Once again with my lectures on the picket line!.”
Sofia Ali,19, a student at the University of Sheffield said: “I am in full support of the strikes. But I have not been personally affected by them this semester.”
“I understand why some other students would feel frustrated, we are paying a lot of money.”
The national Union of Students has been in support of the UCU strikes.
They said: “Staff working conditions are students learning conditions.”