by Silja Slepnjov
Editor In Chief
Disruptions in lectures and tutorials are expected on Tuesday, December 3rd, when University staff will hold their second strike action this year.
Four trade unions across the UK – UCU, UNISON, UNITE and EIS – have joined their forces for the walkout, after the employers failure to improve their offer of 1% pay rise, which the trade unions have rejected as ‘below inflation’ increase.
A spokesman for Strathclyde University said: “The University will remain open for business, and we are working with academic departments to minimise any potential disruption to students.”
For all participating staff, the University will deduct a day’s pay calculated at the rate of 1/260th of annual salary.
Members of UCU have also been encouraged to take continuous action by working to contract, deemed by the University as ‘a legitimate response to the national dispute’ that is only ‘short of strike action’.
At Strathclyde, the 1% will be imposed in time for the December salary. Deductions of salary from strike days will be taken from the January salary. Lecturers have asked that pay deductions be donated to the Students’ Hardship fund, but have received no reply.
Mr MacNeil, head of bargaining for UCU said: “We are naturally disappointed that the employers chose not to improve the offer, but we remain hopeful there can be talks before the strike on Tuesday 3 December.
“However, if the employers turn up empty handed again then disruption in our universities looks inevitable.”
UCU and UNISON claim that members have seen their pay fall in real-terms by 13% and expressed their anger that this comes at a time when “pay and benefits for university leaders increased, on average, by more than £5,000 in 2011-12, with the average pay and pensions package for vice-chancellors hitting almost £250,000”.
A spokesperson for UCEA (Universities and Colleges Employers Association) said: “The threat of further industrial action is naturally disappointing.
“UCEA, on behalf of the 150 HE institutions, has made clear throughout the negotiations that the one per cent uplift for all, on top of other pay increases totalling around three per cent, is at the limits of affordability.”
All relevant updates from the University can be found on http://www.strath.ac.uk/update/ or on the University’s social media.
The Strathclyde Telegraph will report on any relevant updates from the University or participating trade unions.
Do you support the staff’s cause? Is your academic performance affected by the strike? Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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