Sunderland University staff to strike again next month

Members of the UCU (University and College Union) pictured on picket lines outside campus buildings on Chester Road. They were they as part of a co-ordinated strike with the UNISON and UNITE unions.
Members of the UCU (University and College Union) pictured on picket lines outside campus buildings on Chester Road. They were they as part of a co-ordinated strike with the UNISON and UNITE unions.
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SUNDERLAND University staff will walk out during a second day of industrial action in a dispute over pay early next month.

Members of University College Union (UCU), UNISON, and Unite will strike on Tuesday, December 3.

UCU members have been working to contract since November 1 as part of the dispute.

Union members are angry at a one per cent pay offer, which has seen wages fall in real terms by 13 per cent.

Iain Owens, UCU regional official for the northern region, said union members from Sunderland and Durham universities will take part in the one-day strike.

“The position remains as it was two weeks ago, that is that our members are still being offered a one per cent pay rise despite the university sector having made £1billion profit in the last year and vice-chancellors’ pay having rocketed. Our members want a sensible offer made quickly.”

The squeeze on staff pay comes at a time when wages 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, according to the UCU.

UCU head of higher education, Michael MacNeil, said: “Staff have suffered year-on-year cuts in the value of their pay and have made it clear that enough is enough. We remain committed to trying to resolve this dispute, and the employers now have until December 3 to sit down and positively engage with the unions.

“If they don’t, then our members and those from our sister unions will be out on strike again, as well as continuing to work to contract.”

The first day’s strike, on October 31, left some campuses deserted.

Around the country, lectures were cancelled, libraries shut and deliveries turned away. Cleaning, catering and security were also affected.