Further strike action

University staff are set to strike again on the 3rd of December following failure to resolve an on-going pay row.

The strike is in protest to the one per cent pay rise offered to university staff this year. University academics and staff have faced pay cuts of 13% since 2009 and employers have refused to improve upon the aforementioned increase.

The University and College Union (UCU) said it was disappointed by employers’ inability to resolve this issue, following the recent strike on the 31st of October, and wishes to see more talks before the second strike. UCU head of bargaining Michael MacNeil said, “we are naturally disappointed that the employers chose not to improve the offer, but we remain hopeful there can be talks before the strike on Tuesday the 3rd December.”

The strikes include a walk out of all staff involved in four unions – Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), UCU, Unison and Unite. The demonstrations on the 31st October affected 149 universities across the UK, and it is predicted that this month’s strikes will be of a similar scale. This will include the cancellation, postponement or closure of most lectures, libraries and university services, with support services such as catering, cleaning and security also affected.

UCU’s Michael MacNeil said: “Staff have suffered year-on-year cuts in the value of their pay and have made it clear that enough is enough.” The union members will also continue to strike again if employers don’t positively engage with the unions on the 3rd of December.

During the last strike many students from across the country came out in support of the staff. There were more than 100 strikers at Cardiff, both staff and students, amassing outside of the university’s main building and stopping passers-by.

University College London Union have added that, “Strikes like these aim to shut down universities as a last resort, to show the senior managers that it is us – staff and students – who make the university work, and that unless all of us are treated fairly, they cannot rely on us to do so.”

Rhiannon Tapp

News Writer

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