Wales

University staff strike across Wales over pay

  • 31 October 2013
  • From the section Wales
Media captionSome university staff in Wales have been on strike following a dispute over pay

Universities across Wales face disruption as lecturers and support staff stage a one-day strike over pay.

Unions claim some classes were cancelled as thousands of members of Unite, UNISON and the University and College Union (UCU) took action.

The unions have rejected a pay offer of 1% which they say represents a 13% pay cut in real terms since 2008.

The Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) has said the offer is a good outcome for staff.

Unite Wales' lead officer for education, John Toner, said every university in Wales would be affected by Thursday's action.

He added: "We intend to picket every university as well."

'Widespread anger'

Simon Dunn, Unison Wales higher education lead officer, said: "None of the higher education [HE] institutions in Wales have committed to ensure that their staff earn at least a living wage.

Media captionSimon Dunn of Unison says staff have suffered year-on-year pay cuts due to inflation

"This is absolutely disgusting and I fail to see how paying poverty pay can be justified, particularly when you take into consideration the pay of the highest earners in HE.

"The pay gap between the highest and lowest paid within HE has reached a ratio of 1 to 19 and is still rising."

UCU head of higher education Michael MacNeil said: "There is widespread anger over the pay cuts staff have had to endure in recent years and all the reports we are getting is that Thursday's strike will be very well supported."

Strikes are taking place across the UK.

'Naturally disappointing'

A UCEA spokesperson said repeated talks had been held with the unions and "salary costs in most HE institutions will actually rise by around 3% this year".

The spokesperson added: "Any industrial action is naturally disappointing.

"However, with less than 5% of staff voting to support this strike, our institutions tell us that the vast majority of staff understand the reality of the current environment and would not wish to harm their institutions and especially their students."

In a statement, Bangor University said: "This is a UK-wide strike, and we understand the reasons for the action by the trades union.

"We will however be doing all we can to ensure that students are not adversely affected during this period."

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