Workers in higher education struck around the country today, Thursday, against a below-inflation
1 percent pay deal.
The walkout involved lecturers, lab technicians, admin staff and others across three unions – the UCU, Unison and Unite.
Nadje Al-Ali is president of the UCU at Soas in central
“Many jobs are becoming more insecure and workloads are increasing. People are living on the bare minimum and they are struggling.”
Unions say that workers have lost 13 percent of their pay in real terms since 2008. For some this has dire consequences.
Gyta Nicola is branch secretary of Unison at the
Workers were buoyed by the fact that three unions were taking action together – and for the support they won from students and other workers.
Carlo Morelli from
At Soas, cleaners joined pickets while around 30 students continued an occupation in support of the strike. An IT worker at the London School of Economics refused to cross the picket line.
“It isn’t a straightforward decision,” he said. “If something goes wrong and I’m not there to fix it, it will cause problems. But I want to support people who deserve a decent wage.”
There was a mood to keep fighting after today’s strike. “I’d like to see more one-day or two-day strikes,” said James Howard, Unite branch chair at King’s College London.
Sue Parkin, Unison branch secretary of
Strikers and supporters plan to hold marches and rallies across Britain later today.