UCU members in higher education vote for strike action in national row over pay

5 May 2016

UCU has announced today that members working in higher education have voted in favour of strike action in UK universities in a row over pay.

Almost two thirds (65.4%) of members who voted backed strike action and over three quarters (77.3%) voted for action short of a strike.

The vote follows a marginally improved offer of 1.1% from the employers, the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), which the union has described as ‘insulting’.

The union’s national representatives will meet on Friday (6 May) to discuss the ballot result, before a decision is made on what form the industrial action will take and when it will begin.

The union said universities could afford to pay more and that the latest offer does little to address the real terms pay cut of 14.5% suffered by higher education staff since 2009.  The squeeze on staff salaries comes at a time when pay and benefits for university leaders has increased, on average, by 3%, with the average pay and pensions package for vice-chancellors standing at over £270,000.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt said: ‘Strike action is always a last resort for educators but the squeeze on pay has created real anger and staff working in higher education want to see a sensible offer which begins to address the real-terms pay cut they have endured since 2009.

‘The employer’s marginal 0.1% increase to their 1% offer is insulting and UCEA urgently needs to review its approach.’

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