Lecturers hold one-day strike

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Strike action over public sector cuts

Strike action over public sector cuts

University staff are to hold a one day strike on Halloween.

The strike is being held as part of the University and College Unions ‘Campaign for a better deal’ over current pay and working conditions and will involve members of three unions, UCU, UNISON and Unite. This will be the first time the three unions have joined together to take action over pay disputes.

Staff from LJMU, Liverpool Hope and the University of Liverpool will be amongst the many universities taking part across the country in the one-day strike – which means lectures and classes will be cancelled for the day.

Members will be able to voice their anger against pay cuts, which have seen lecturers in further education have their pay packets slashed by 13% since October 2008. Starting on the picket line on Thursday morning and then joining local rallies in their area, staff members will be hoping to have their opinions heard.

On average a university lecturer gets paid £2,000 less than a teacher and higher education staff have only been offered a 1% pay rise this year.

UCU head of higher education, Michael MacNeil, spoke of his anger on the matter and said: “Staff have suffered year-on-year cuts in the value of their pay. Quite simply, enough is enough. We urge the employers to reflect on the fact that they are about to face their first ever strike by three unions at the same time and come to the negotiating table to resolve this dispute.”

Steve Harrison, lecturer at LJMU will be supporting the strike on Thursday.

“Striking is always a last resort, but I feel quite strongly that lecturers are being given a raw deal. We just want the university to make a reasonable, realistic offer,” he said.

LJMU libraries will be open as usual as well as some university buildings including Kingsway House, Tithebarn Street, JMU Tower, Egerton Court and Rodney House.

Liverpool Hope SU President Ben Ramsdale has also been showing his support for the strike on his Twitter account.

He tweeted: “@benramsdale: I’m proud that Hope SU are supporting #fairpayinHE this week. I will not cross any picket lines.”

About Helen Healy, JMU Journalism