University staff walk out over pay dispute

Staff at the University of Lincoln went on strike today as members of three major unions took their first coordinated strike action in a dispute over pay. 

University staff on the picket line. Photo: Rachel Sloper
University staff on the picket line. Photo: Rachel Sloper

Classes were cancelled across the UK today as workers from the University and College Union (UCU), UNISON and Unite walked out over a 1% pay rise offer.

The unions say that university staff have faced a real-terms pay cut of 13% since 2008.

Today marked the first walk-out over pay in universities for seven years.

University of Lincoln staff were on picket lines at entry and exit points of the university campus this morning.

Lincoln UCU branch officer, Geoff Adams said: “The employers have left the negotiating table. They’ve offered us 1%, they won’t negotiate anything else.

“We do not want to strike, but what else can we do? We’ve been left with no option.”

Mr Adams suggests that lecturers could devote more time to students if they were paid a sustainable wage. He says that the strike is not about greed, but sustainability.

“Considering the rising costs of higher education, can we afford to stay on as lecturers or are we being priced out?”

Ian Richards, PR manager at the University of Lincoln said: “The University of Lincoln is open as usual with the majority of teaching and support services continuing without disruption.

“The Library and other learning spaces are available for students, as is the Student Support Centre. Any teaching sessions that were unable to run as a result of the strike action will be incorporated within the rest of the teaching schedule.”

Mr Adams said: “Today, in the short term, students may suffer, but long term, it must be in the students’ interests. What worth is a student’s degree if they are not being taught by the best?

“If staff have to leave higher education and return to the industries from which we came, then surely in the long term that is bad for students.”

One Response to University staff walk out over pay dispute

  1. Mike says:

    Considering the Vice Chancellor takes a hefty salary and inflation-busting pay rises each year, I would be a little irritated.
    A 1% pay rise doesn’t even cover the cost of inflation. Even as a student at Lincoln, for once I have to agree with them.