UCU, Unison & Unite university strike this Halloween (31 October)

28 October 2013

HE Pay Dispute 2013 – Fair Pay in HE


UCU members have voted to take strike action and action short of a strike in response to the employers’ failure to make you a proper pay offer this year.


31 October Strike


UCU, UNISON and Unite have called on their members working in higher education to walk out on Thursday 31 October.


Staff have been offered a pay rise of just 1% this year, which means they have suffered a pay cut of 13% in real terms since October 2008.

The squeeze on staff pay 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.

Strike day rallies

halloween strike

Birmingham – 12:00 midday: East Gate (outside Guild of Students) – rally and street theatre in support of the strike action – more information on this and a week of activities by Birmingham UCU on their website


Brighton - 12.00 Assemble Victoria Gardens (Grand Parade); 12.30 start march through Brighton to Church Street; 13.00 disperse for rally in Corn Exchange to finish no later than 14.30.

Bristol – 11:00am rally at Senate House; speakers will include TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady.


Cambridge  – 12 noon at Central St Mary’s church (outside Senate House).


Exeter – joint trade union rally, 12:30pm, Phoenix Theatre; UCU speaker: Barry Lovejoy

- rally on Tuesday 29 October, starting 1.00pm, Conference Auditorium 2, Leeds University. Thursday 31 October: assembling after picketing, 11.30, Parkinson Building steps, Leeds University.  Joint union march, route now agreed with police, to rally in Victoria Gardens or City Square, depending on availability. UCU speaker: Paul Bridge

London – details tbc; UCU speaker Michael MacNeil

Manchester – 12.30pm rally at Club Academy, University of Manchester Students Union, Oxford Road. The meeting is to be chaired by Lynn Collins (North West TUC Regional Secretary). On the platform will be Kevan Nelson (Unison), Dominique Lauterburg (UCU NEC), Unite the Union speaker (TBC) and NUS president Toni Pearce:


Newcastle – Assemble 12.30 for 1 pm Grey’s Monument, Newcastle. UCU speaker: Liz Lawrence:
Oxford – rally in the Council Chamber at Oxford Town Hall from 1-2pm; speakers from all three unions.

Sheffield – rally at 12.00 at the St Matthews Hall in the centre of Sheffield: UCU speaker: Simon Renton


Belfast - branch meetings

Edinburgh  – Rally: 12 noon – 1pm, Bristo Square. Speakers: Mary Senior (UCU Scotland Official), Gordon Maloney (NUS Scotland President), Ann Henderson (Assistant Secretary STUC), plus speakers from Unite and Unison.

Glasgow – Rally: 12 noon – 1pm, Adelaide’s Baptist Church, Bath Street. Speakers: Dave Anderson (UCU Scotland President, Robert Foster (NUS Scotland Vice President), Dave Moxham (Deputy General Secretary STUC), plus speakers from Unite and Unison.
Cardiff – rally outside the Main Building of Cardiff University at 11.30am on Thursday 31st October 2013. Speakers: Margaret Phelan, (UCU Wales official), John Toner (UNITE) and a speaker from Unison tbc


  1. guest said:

    These strikes are focused solely on pay freezes and minimal increases (real terms decreases). They take no account of the increasing causalisation of the academic labour force, the use of zero hours contracts (and the fear of being
    ‘zeroed down’) and the extent to which staff on such contracts are
    expected/compelled to undertake unpaid overtime.

    While universities might claim that zero hours contracts are being phased out, in reality minimum
    hours are only guaranteed just a week or two before teaching starts and only then for a very short period. One is still unable to properly plan one’s finances and still in a position where attempts to negotiate better conditions,
    requests for payment for extra duties worked brings the fear of being ‘zeroed down’. Sadly, those suffering most under the current system might not feel able to strike.

    30 October 2013 at 7:30pm
  2. dick dixon said:

    My wage is now so low that I find My buying power is comparable to the buying power I had as a 17yr old straight out of school and earning £1 per hour in 1978 under the thatcher regime. How as a member of the “grey community ” can I rejuvenate the country with My supposed “buying power ” When each month I find My self raiding My savings account just to make ends meet . I am not working in a laundry with zero responsibility’s
    any more , I now have the health and safety of approx. 1000 Young people on My shoulders and work long shifts in the process , If the employers only pay Peanuts they may find the only workers they have are Monkeys! .
    Fair pay NOW .Please.

    30 October 2013 at 10:20pm

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