Universities and colleges across Yorkshire and Humberside will be hit with strike action tomorrow (Tuesday) as staff walk out in a row over pay.
Staff will be on picket lines from 7.30am at higher education and further education institutions right across Yorkshire and Humberside. Large picket lines are expected at the main sites of universities and colleges in Leeds, Bradford, Hull, Sheffield and Huddersfield.
Picket lines will be followed by rallies in Leeds and York. In Leeds, staff will gather at the University of Leeds for speeches before marching down to Victoria Gardens (the area outside Leeds Art Gallery on the Headrow – map here http://tinyurl.com/ob7xu75) for a 12pm rally. In York, staff will assemble at 12noon at the top of Micklegate before marching to St Helen’s Square for a rally at 12.30pm – map here http://tinyurl.com/oj64yty
Classes will be cancelled in further education colleges in England and staff in UK universities will walk out. They are angry that, as the cost of living has risen, lecturers’ pay has been slashed in real terms since 2009.
University staff first walked out on 31 October when members of UCU, Unison and Unite took strike action. Tomorrow they will be joined by their colleagues in the EIS trade union in Scotland. Meanwhile lecturers at further education colleges in England will be taking their first day of strike action, also in a row over pay.
Staff in universities were offered a 1% pay rise this year, despite their pay plummeting by 13% in real terms in last four years. Lecturers in further education colleges in England rejected a pay offer of just 0.7% from their national employers, which means their pay cut by 15% in real terms since 2009.
UCU’s negotiators for both college and university lecturers have offered to clear their diaries in an effort to resolve the dispute before tomorrow’s strike and the union says it hopes disruption can be avoided. However, UCU added that lecturers were making it clear enough was enough when it came to keeping down their pay.
Staff will be on picket lines in towns and cities across the UK from early in the morning, with many then making their way to local rallies in their area. More details on regional activity can be found at http://tinyurl.com/oah4c9c
UCU Regional official in Yorkshire and Humberside, Julie Kelley, said: “Staff in universities and colleges are taking strike action to say enough is enough. They have seen their pay slashed in real terms since 2009 and this year’s miserly pay offer, at a time of rising bills, was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“Staff love their jobs, but their goodwill cannot continue to be taken for granted. Nobody wants to take strike action and lose a day’s pay, but we feel we have been left with no alternative.”