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Strike action at universities and colleges across the South West
6:00am Tuesday 3rd December 2013 in News
Universities and colleges across the region will face strike action today, as staff walk out in a row over pay.
Staff angry that as the cost of living has risen, lecturers’ pay has been "slashed in real terms since 2009", will be on picket lines from 7.30am. Some classes are expected to be cancelled.
University staff first walked out on October 31 when members of UCU, Unison and Unite took strike action. Lecturers at further education colleges in England will be taking their first day of strike action, also in a row over pay.
Staff in universities were offered a 1one per cent pay rise this year, despite their pay "plummeting by 13 per cent" in real terms in last four years. Lecturers in further education colleges in England rejected a pay offer of 0.7 per cent from their national employers, which they argue means their pay has been cut by 15 per cent in real terms since 2009.
UCU’s negotiators for both college and university lecturers have offered to clear their diaries in an effort to resolve the dispute before tomorrow’s strike and the union says it hopes disruption can be avoided. However, UCU added that lecturers were making it clear enough was enough when it came to keeping down their pay.
Staff will be on picket lines in towns and cities across the UK from early in the morning, with many then making their way to local rallies in their area.
UCU regional official, Nick Varney, said: “Staff in universities and colleges are taking strike action to say enough is enough. They have seen their pay slashed in real terms since 2009 and this year’s miserly pay offer, at a time of rising bills, was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“Staff love their jobs, but their goodwill cannot continue to be taken for granted. Nobody wants to take strike action and lose a day’s pay, but we feel we have been left with no alternative.”
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