Strike action at University of Leicester

Strike action taken by UCU, Unison and Unite

Picket outside University of Leicester

On February the 6th UCU members took action along with their colleagues in Unison and Unite in an increasingly bitter row over pay.

Picketers on strike at university of leicesterStaff were on picket lines at all main entrances to the University of Leicester and the union said the strong show of support for the strike from university staff should send a clear message to employers that they must return to the negotiating table with a fair pay offer.

Across the UK classes were cancelled and libraries, canteens and other services shut throughout the day as workers, angry at a pay offer of just 1%, walk out. A 1% pay rise would leave staff with a real-terms pay cut of 13% since 2009.

While staff pay has been kept down, vice-chancellors enjoyed an average pay rise of 5.1% last year, and an average salary of £235,000.

It has also been revealed that UK staff are being paid less than their contemporaries in other English-speaking countries.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'The strong support for our action demonstrates how angry staff are at the hypocrisy over pay in our universities. The employers cannot plead poverty when it comes to staff pay and then award a handful at the top enormous pay rises.

'Research shows that our universities are performing at the very top on the global stage, yet our staff are being paid far less than those in other countries. It's time for fair pay for all in our universities.

'Taking strike action is always a last resort and we would urge any students frustrated or annoyed at the disruption to contact their vice-chancellor and ask them to put pressure on their representatives to come back to the negotiating table with a fair pay offer.'

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UCU is the largest trade union and professional association for academics, lecturers, trainers, researchers and academic-related staff working in further and higher education throughout the UK.

Visit the national site at  http://www.ucu.org.uk/