Socialist Worker

Higher education workers announce strike for 31 October

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2375

Lively pickets at Kirklees college, Huddersfield, earlier this year

Lively pickets at Kirklees college, Huddersfield, earlier this year (Pic: Martin Jones)


Workers across three unions in higher education are set to strike over pay on Thursday 31 October. The UCU, Unite and Unison unions announced the date today, Wednesday.

Workers face a derisory one percent pay deal. The UCU estimates that workers have suffered a real terms pay cut of 13 percent since October 2008.

UCU members backed strikes by 62 percent in a recent ballot while Unite members voted by 64 percent for walkouts. Unison members backed strikes by 54 percent.

Mark Campbell is a UCU member at London Metropolitan University and a member of the union’s national executive committee. He told Socialist Worker, “The headline issue of the dispute between us and our employers is fair pay. However, this is ultimately about an awful lot more than just a fair pay rise.

It’s also about ending the disgusting use of zero hour contracts.  It’s about ensuring a national living wage for all staff. It’s about challenging the gender pay gap in higher education.

“It’s about fighting excessive workloads and bullying. And it’s about stopping the increasing privatisation and commodification of higher education in Britain. It's a fight against austerity. Enough is enough!”


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