UoB staff to strike on Halloween

Some UoB staff will be striking tomorrow, meaning many students will get the day off

Academic staff at UoB will go on strike tomorrow following a national pay dispute.

The decision to strike on Halloween has been made after a 13% cut to staff real pay since 2008 as well as the increased use of the unpopular ‘zero hour contracts’ to employ fringe staff.

A Guild statement said: “At Guild Council, policy was passed stating that the Guild believes in the importance of maintaining a strong relationship with campus unions. In this case, having properly remunerated staff is important for morale and the quality of our learning environment. In addition, many postgraduate students also teach, and low wages affect their welfare and quality of life too.”

“I’m taking the day off”

Guild policy also states that the Guild shall offer a room for staff to use as a base whilst taking industrial action, and shall support and mobilise students in taking supplementary action to support. This means your Sabbatical Officers will not be crossing the picket line and so, will not be attending University meetings on the day of the strike.”

University and College Union (UCU) will also be using the Guild as a base during their action. We encourage students to show their support for staff.”

The strike will mean many students will find they’ve been given the day off on Thursday.

There has been large support for strike action from staff as well as students, however there is also widespread anger following the inevitable disruption to student learning.

2nd year student Francesca Stainer said: “I have had to suffer my tuition fees tripling and this strike therefore means that the two hour seminar I’m missing will cost me just under £100. Thanks for the day off- the strike may benefit staff, however it’s wasting the time and money of students, especially those who have a longer day than a mere English student.”

With the recent rise in tuition fees to £9,000, students are increasingly encouraged to see their education as a commercial transaction. This has made strike action even less popular among students who feel they are getting an ever shoddier deal.

Unions will face questions about the legitimacy of the strike, due to low turnouts for the ballots.

With increased budget tightening on universities, the ‘university-as-business’ logic means not only turning students into clients, but also servicing them as cheaply as possible. That is directly reflected in the current dispute.

Staff have recently offered to meet with employers for eleventh hour talks to try and avert a one day strike.

Some lecturers are rearranging classes in order to participate in the strike and to ensure students don’t miss out.