After two days of strike last term, a new round of industrial action has been announced by the University and College Union (UCU). This comes as part of the union’s ongoing dispute with the University and College Employers Association (UCEA) over pay in higher education.
UCU have announced a series of three two-hour stoppages in higher education, beginning this week. The UCU has booked rooms in Union House to gather rallies, explain their case to students, and answer questions. If you believe that your lecturers and support staff should be fairly paid, and if you believe that organised collectivism can make a change then join us! Here are some dates to put in your diaries:
Thursday 23 January 11.00am-1.00pm
Tuesday 28 January 2.00pm-4.00pm
Monday 10 February 9.00am-11.00am
The UCU announcement follows the employers’ offer of 1 per cent salary increase through the Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff (JNCHES) which the unions have pointed out would mean academics will have suffered a real terms pay cut of 13 per cent since 2009. UCU subsequently held a ballot in which its member voted in favour of industrial action.
The latest round comes just weeks after the Times Higher Education (THE) revealed that Russell Group vice chancellors received average salary increases of more than 8 per cent last year. At the Union of UEA Students, we believe that lecturers and other staff in our universities and colleges should be properly supported and remunerated. We believe that fair pay is an issue of fairness in itself, but also note that there are very clear benefits to students that pay is at a level which attracts excellent staff, and helps to support the maintenance of a happy and motivated workforce.
Today at 11am, we will be welcoming the UCU into Union House for their first meeting of this round’s industrial action. We welcome you all to come join us in 1.28 to hear the reasons why we should be supporting our staff on this issue.