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British academics call off strike after pay deal

Written by: Staff

LONDON, June 7 (Reuters) British university teachers have called off a strike after reaching a pay agreement with their employers.

The dispute had threatened to disrupt exams this year, with teachers refusing to mark papers and students faced with the prospect of having no results.

The University and College Union (UCU) yesterday said it had called off the action after the University and Colleges Employers' Association (UCEA) agreed to a 10.37 percent pay raise over 22 months and a 2.5 percent rise the following year.

''The industrial action is being stood down with immediate effect,'' UCU joint presidents Dennis Hayes and Steve Wharton said in a statement.

Members of the UCU, Britain's largest trade union of lecturers, university teachers, researchers and other academic staff, will be balloted on the new offer, they said.

The UCEA chairman, Dr Geoffrey Copland, said the end of the boycott was good news for students.

''Employers are delighted because every effort has been made to put negotiations back on track,'' he said in a statement.

''We are particularly pleased that the immediate suspension of industrial action will stop disruption for students and allow completion of examination processes.'' Reuters SK VP0440

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