Uni campus support staff continue strikes

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Barry Saunders and Barry Keates at the strike action. Pic © JMU Journalism

Campus support staff at the University of Liverpool University carried out a fourth strike protest this weekend.

The Unite union led its members out in protest as part an ongoing dispute over the university’s new terms of employment and its’ alleged treatment of staff.

Strike action leaders claim conditions include under-staffing, additional responsibility payments stopped, bank holiday payments halted when Christmas or Boxing day falls on a weekend, and what they allege is a “continual culture of bullying and harassment”.

Unite says the reductions can add up to a loss of allowances of £3,000 per year.

The workers affected monitor CCTV surveillance cameras, operate car park barriers, patrol campus areas and are typically the first respondents to emergency situations.

Twitter: Unite North West

Ché Spencer Pote, 20, a University of Liverpool backed the move. She told JMU Journalism: “This affects us just as much as it affects them. There is an acute mental health crisis going on with students right now and these members of staff are our first port of call.”

Barry Saunders, a campus staff member, told JMU Journalism that debates between the university and support workers have been going on for around five years now.

He claims that the staff have tried to have meetings with senior HR staff but have not been able to find a compromise.

Ché Spencer Pote supported the strike. Pic © JMU Journalism

JMU Journalism attempted to contact the University of Liverpool for comment, but we did not receive a response.

A University of Liverpool spokesperson was quoted on the Employee Benefits website as saying: “The dispute relates to changes to terms and conditions for campus support services staff which were agreed by Unite in 2014.

“These changes were necessary in order to standardise previously unfairly wide-ranging terms, conditions and benefits among Unite and Unison staff groups.

“While it is regrettable that Unite has decided upon strike action for the campus support staff group while discussions are still ongoing, the university will continue to work with Unite and will be involving [the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas)] to assist in the continuing discussions.”

About Emily Roberts, JMU Journalism