Higher education members strike for fair pay


Higher education members striking at Manchester Metropolitan University


UNISON members have been on strike today with their colleagues in UCU, Unite and EIS, for fair pay and for the lowest-paid to take home a living wage.

The union’s national secretary for education Jon Richards said: “There is a real and growing divide between the haves and have nots in higher education.

“The pay of vice chancellors and senior managers pay show few signs of restraint, while the rest of their workforce suffer year-on-year real-term cuts.

“The billions in surpluses that universities have accrued over the last few years will continue to grow as student numbers expand and university income increases. Yet workers in higher education are not being rewarded for their contribution to this UK economic success story.”

And Mr Richards continued: “Higher education employees are standing up demanding a decent salary – they are ‘Worth It’.

“HE staff play are a vital part of local economies, so cuts to their pay has the knock-on effect of dampening down the income of local businesses and damage economic recovery.

“High-quality services can only be achieved through a motivated, engaged and valued workforce. Over 300,000 workers in universities across the UK do not feel valued and are saying point that enough is enough.

“Today’s third day of national strike action at universities across the country sends a clear message that UNISON members want to be heard.”

Mr Richards added that staff employed by Birmingham University are also involved in a local pay dispute over their current pay offer.

In Aberystwyth, two members signed up to be workplace reps on the picket line, while staff from Manchester Metropolitan University marched to make their point – accompanied by students and outside Birmingham University, supporters signed a large pledge of support.

In weather that was often unpleasant, members maintained good spirits on well-supported picket lines.

And on social media, #fairpayinHE was trending for much of the day as strikers themselves made clear their feels, and supporters offered solidarity.

Higher education industrial action

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