The public is showing its support for UNISON members at the University of Leicester who face wage cuts of £800 to £1,200 a year – with almost 1,000 people signing a petition backing the workers in just its first three days.
The 26 workers affected are the university’s security team, who will see the pay cuts if the university succeeds with its plan to cut their weekly hours from 37 to 35.
All other staff at the university saw their hours drop to 35 a week, with no loss of pay, when the university became a living wage employer in 2016.
But the university argued that the security staff already worked 35 core hours a week – and that two hours they all worked over and above that was compulsory overtime, which is what management now wants to axe.
The UNISON members, who won the European Security Team of the Year award for Universities in April (pictured), are now asking local MPs, fellow union members and the public sign the petition and pressurise the university into changing its mind.
The workers point out that staff are already burdened by years of pay restraint: juggling bills and in some cases using food banks to live. “We have to stand up and fight this completely unfair and unnecessary attack on our livelihoods,” they say.
Their determination is shown by the fact that if persuasion doesn’t work, a consultative ballot in October delivered a 100% vote in favour of a formal industrial action ballot on a 100% turn-out in a team that boasts 100% UNISON membership.