British university employees stage another round of strikes as new term begins

Staff at 40 U.K. universities have staged another round of strike action, the latest in an ongoing dispute over compensation and work conditions.

British university employees stage another round of strikes as new term begins

Lecturers and other staff at some 40 U.K. universities staged a new round of strike action on Monday in a long-running dispute over pay and work conditions, disrupting college students as many turned up at campus for "freshers' week," or their first week at university.

The University and College Union, which represents thousands of academic staff, said strike action will take place until Friday at many institutions.

The union said members at 140 universities had been due to take part in the walkouts, but the action is now on a much smaller scale and only targeted at "the very worst employers" after deals were struck with many colleges.

Institutions affected this week include the University of Liverpool, University of Oxford, University of Manchester and the Royal College of Art.

Union members say their wages in real terms have fallen and not caught up with soaring inflation. They are also calling for more job security and an end to short-term contracts.

Thousands of students have already been affected this summer by a marking boycott by lecturers at dozens of universities.

Academics refused to mark exam papers and coursework as part of escalated industrial action, leaving scores of final year students unable to graduate or left in limbo with indefinite delays in receiving their final marks.