University strike over pay to hit exam season

Student exams are likely to be disrupted after the University and College Union revealed that its members will stage a two-day walkout over pay later this month.


Lecturers and other higher education personnel will hold a two-day strike on 25 and 26 May in protest at the offer of a 1.1 percent pay boost for 2016-17, the UCU announced on 9 May. Further strike days might also be held in June and July if employers do not improve their existing pay offer, stated the union, which is also asking personnel not to carry out overtime or voluntary duties under a work to contract action starting on 25 May.


The union is likewise thinking about whether to do something about it in August to accompany A-level outcomes day and university cleaning.

The choice to hold the two-day walkout which will fall in the middle of the majority of universities' exam seasons was taken by the UCU s national representatives on 6 May after 65.4 per cent of those enacting a ballot backed strike action.


Some 77.3 per cent likewise voted for action except a strike in the tally, where turnout was 35.5 percent.

It followed exactly what the UCU called a partially improved offer through the Universities and Colleges Employers Association of a 1.1 percent pay boost for 2016-17, up from 1 percent.


The union had actually initially called for a 5 percent increase.


Sally Hunt, the UCU general secretary, described the 0.1 portion point boost as an insult, saying that companies have to come back to the table with a much improved offer if they wish to avoid significant interruption to students in the coming months.


Industrial action that impacts on students is never ever ignored, however staff feel that they have actually been left with no option, stated Ms. Hunt.


Members in higher education have actually sent out a clear message to companies that, after six years of real-terms pay cuts totaling up to 14.5 per cent, they will not endure an ongoing squeeze on their income, she added.


An enhanced offer is plainly inexpensive offered the overall surpluses of 1.85 billion posted by the sector in 2014-15, the union has actually stated.


However, Ucea has actually said that the final pay offer totals up to a typical sector boost of 2.7 percent when progression pay was included, and was at the outright limit of affordability and the very best that will be available.


A Ucea spokesperson said that the large bulk of personnel in college institutions comprehend the truth of the present [moneying] environment and do not support action that could damage both their organizations and their students.


Ucea and higher education organizations are disappointed that the UCU has actually targeted students from the extremely outset of pay conversations, he added, stating that a person trade union [was] on a course to attempt and cause disruption.


While the commercial action was totally legal, universities would have no choice however to subtract full pay from any member of personnel taking strike action, Ucea included.