University staff to take part in further strike over pay

Lancaster University.
Lancaster University.

University academics and support staff are to join in with a new national walkout amid an increasingly bitter row over pay.

Members of four unions – Unite, Unison, the University and College Union (UCU) and EIS in Scotland – are due to take part in the strike on Thursday, February 6.

Institutions across the UK, including Lancaster University and the University of Cumbria, could face disruption with lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials cancelled or postponed as academics along with support staff such as technicians and administrators join picket lines.

The latest move is a further escalation of the unions’ industrial action over a one per cent pay rise offered to university staff.

They say that the pay offer means that their members have faced a 13 per cent pay cut in real terms since October 2008.

Two one-day national strikes were staged in the autumn, and the UCU is currently holding a series of two-hour stoppages which they say is aimed at disrupting teaching.

Mike McCartney, Unite’s national officer for education, said: “In the context of the cost of living crisis, the current one per cent on offer is paltry. This also has to be seen against the background of the top university vice chancellors having an average £22,000 pay rise in 2012-13.”

A spokesman for the Universities and Colleges Employers Association said: “We are disappointed to see yet another strike day called with the intention to affect students’ education.”