STAFF ACROSS higher education plan a day of action next Tuesday, 5 December. Universities will be hit as lecturers, technicians, administrators and manual workers join forces over pay. They are demanding that the government gives them a decent pay rise, but they are also angry at the general crisis of underfunding across higher education that means more pressure and stress on staff, and a worse education for students.
But the day of action will not be the one-day strike that many hoped for. Lecturers in the NATFHE and EIS unions, and manual workers in the TGWU voted to strike. Admin workers in the UNISON union voted narrowly against strike action, but supported action short of a strike by 72 percent. And MSF leaders also refused to call a strike, despite the fact that their members voted by 51 percent to strike. "People are disappointed. We will still do our best to disrupt the authorities, but it is a lot harder without strike action," says a worker.