UWS UNISON members were joined by EiS, UCU and Unite colleagues today (6 February) in taking industrial action for fair pay in HE.
Our members in estates & buildings, catering, library, ICT, student support and many more departments joined staff in universities across the UK and walked out for a third time, following previous strikes on 31 October and 3 December last year.
UWS UNISON Branch Secretary Keith Galbraith commented: “Once again we are delighted with the response from the members at UWS both in terms of coming out to picket but more importantly not going in to work today. What we want to see is pressure on the employers to return to negotiations and to make the kind of offer that our members deserve.”
Since the last day of action on 3 December, the university employers have written to the trade unions telling them that they would not hold any further negotiations over pay and urging universities to impose the 1% offer. This is another blow to low paid staff in higher education who have seen their pay fall by 13% in real terms over the past five years.
Universities have been building up cash reserves of more than £2bn over the past two years, with the Higher Education Funding Council predicting this trend will continue for the next few years.
Across the UK terms and conditions amongst higher education workers are being eroded while job insecurity is increasing. There is a greater use of zero hour contracts and an increase in the gender pay gap.