Press Release: University Staff Fight for Pay

Leicester University and College Union strike for fair pay in Higher Education

A two day walk-out is set to take place at universities in Leicester this week after failure to reach a resolution over a pay dispute between UCU and the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA).

The dispute has arisen following a pay rise offer of 1.1% from UCEA. This has come at a time when pay and benefits increased for university leaders by 5.1% in 2014/15 and UCU believe that universities can afford to offer more. In addition, UCU is calling on universities to do more to address the gender pay gap, highlighted as a particular issue at the University of Leicester in recent reports. On average, female academics are paid £6,103 less per year than their male counterparts.

Further issues for university staff include the amount of staff on casual and zero-hour contracts, with an estimated 49% of university staff on insecure contracts.

Following the two day walk-out, UCU members will continue to “work to contract” meaning they will refuse to work overtime, set additional work or undertake voluntary duties. UCU has also asked that external examiners resign from their post. At University of Leicester a high proportion of colleagues have now resigned from their external examining duties.

Leicester UCU say: “This pay offer is an insult to our staff, especially given the amount offered to university leaders including Vice-Chancellors, who earn around 6 times more than average staff. Additionally, the gender pay gap is a very concerning issue, and the University of Leicester was recently identified as being one of the worst in the country for differences in pay between men and women. We are fighting pay inequality and job insecurity and we call on the UCEA to return to the negotiating table.”

For more information contact Leicester UCU Communications Officer: Sarah Seaton, or 07437538608
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