Thrifty’s Staff Stage Strike!

Tutors agree to stage a day’s strike in protest against Vice-Chancellor’s wage increase.

The legitimacy of Nigel Thrift’s pay rise has been questioned by the student body since the beginning of the year. What is less known however, is that the pay rise has also stirred up passionate animosity among many of the staff employed by the university.

With government cuts tripling the cost of tuition fees, and Warwick’s position in domestic and international league tables falling, one might think the Vice Chancellor’s pay rise was poorly timed. This has certainly been the sentiment among many students, although protest has so far failed to transpire beyond social media.

Last week, staff members formally announced a day’s strike to take place early on 25th May in order to demonstrate their displeasure at Nigel Thrift’s wages. The strike is fully supported by the university’s Human Resources department, and will see a range from cleaners and security staff to professors and lab technicians refusing to work for 24 hours.

Staff strikes are not new to Warwick, but this promises to be the most widespread ever witnessed and would represent the first time such action is called to demonstrate against internal affairs. The fact the Vice Chancellor is enjoying a pay rise of approximately £3,000 while many staff members have had their pay frozen has been listed as the major grievance.

While most students may sympathise with the protest, initial reactions have been largely critical. Annie Wanda, 3rd Year Early Childhood Studies, remarked, ”I am disappointed the staff have chosen to protest in a way which only inconveniences students. Exams are coming, and we need our tutors.”

Derek Mountain, 1st year Sociology: ”Frankly, I’m pissed. His pay rise is not going to change. While he counts the cash the tutors make us suffer.”

Another student, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ”While the staff action does seem a bit pointless, I think it’s a good example of how to put discontent into action. We’re quick to write Facebook statuses about stuff we don’t like, but does anyone actually do anything? No. I applaud the staff for having the guts to make a real stand where students are idle.”

With naked calendars, ‘Bra-gate’ and Moo Bar’s wallpaper already registering on the national media’s radars this year, this will undoubtedly bring yet more negative attention to the university.

The HR department have been reluctant to provide much information, but have stated on their website that the strike was approved with an overwhelming 74% of the staff body vote, and only 13% abstaining.

Mr Hugh Cumber, HR, stated:  ‘We understand that this is a controversial move, but we are responding to a highly controversial misappropriation of finances. We believe that by timing this in the third term, formally timetabled lectures and classes are less likely to be affected.’

  • James White

    I can say with certainty that this will make absolutely no difference. If anything, the Warwick experience might improve without most of the staff.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    So the strike is due to take place on Saturday the 25th of May? Yeah, that will obviously have LOADS of impact on the university…

    • John

      1) Some of us have exams then.

      2) It’s clearly an April Fool’s trick, you jeb end.

  • Callum

    “With naked calendars, ‘Bra-gate’ and Moo Bar’s wallpaper already registering on the national media’s radars this year, this will undoubtedly bring yet more negative attention to the university.”

    Bit off topic, but why are you categorising the naked calendars as negative? They were a hugely successful student led initiative which raised large amounts of money and attracted global media attention, all of it positive (except for one huffpost blogger and your esteemed publication, which are both pretty inconsequential).

    • Thayyab Ahmed

      and callum starts the customary comment digression…

      • Callum

        An editor who’s willing to publish this kind of writing surely has to understand that explicitly partisan sentiments get reaction? That’s the only reason tabloid journos include them. Trying to brush of a comment because it’s a digression ignores the fact that the writing style the tab uses begs for digression. Nice attempt at responding to my actual query, too.

        • Thayyab Ahmed

          You’ve answered your own question. for reaction. My above comment was again, for reaction.
          While we’re on topic, as much as I hate to be pedantic, please point out where we have said the naked calenders were a negative thing? All we’ve stated is that they’ve ‘registered on the national media’.

          • Anonymous

            Callum, you can’t deny that the Huffington Post and the Daily Mail Online (probably the two most popular online journalism outlets) both in reporting and opinion had the naked calendar portrayed in a negative light. Of course, the positives outweigh but that doesn’t make the statement untrue. Stop being an idiot.

            • Callum

              Daily Mail was actually really positive: it gave the Warwick spokesperson a lot of column inches and the comments the article provoked were almost universally supportive. Also, it was a huffpo blogger, not a huffpo journo: anyone can be a Huffington Post blogger, and the exposure those articles get is tiny. The Daily Mail used an inconsequential blog to manufacture a story which would get high click traffic because it included naked students, but that traffic resulted in positive publicity.

              And Thayyab, the bit you’re looking for is quoted in my first post. The “yet more” sentence construction means that the “negative publicity” clause is made to apply to calendars, bra gate and moo bar.

              • Thayyab Ahmed

                Callum you’ve clearly failed to pick up on the fact that this is an April fool’s article and thus anything in it is intended to provoke. Although you do raise valid points try not to read too much into an article that’s for fun and intentionally false.

                • Callum

                  Have I failed to pick up on it? Did I really go to a student newspaper and expect articles published on apr 1st to be serious? No, actually I checked to see if you’d written something on a par with ‘degrees for dogs’. You haven’t, and all you’ve done is been unnecessarily negative about students’ achievements and then provoked an overly long debate about a really simple issue because you’re being all pretend-tabloid and getting “reaction”. Try not to be this funny again next year – you’ll hurt my poor little simple brain.

                  • Thayyab Ahmed

                    Ha you taking a sentence from this article serious is making me laugh, my substantial brain can’t take it…

                • Jonty

                  That’s funny, I thought every article on this website was a joke, intended to provoke and intentionally false.

  • Anonymous

    Hahahahaha this is brilliant

  • emmanuel frimpong


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