Strike Action Today: students lose out again
Today’s strike action is the biggest to date, as the unresolved dispute over university staff wages intensifies.
Many students today were left feeling short changed and frustrated, as today’s strike marked the biggest so far this year; with the majority of university lecturers and staff leaving their posts over the unresolved campaign for fair pay.
With Unite, Unison, UCU and EIS calling all members to strike today, many students have lost out on valuable teaching time.
Today’s strike is the third this year, with more planned in the future if staff demands are not met.
The increasingly frequent strike action comes over staff outrage at the University’s refusal to improve the current staff pay rise, which currently stands at one percent.
Meanwhile university vice chancellors are earning on average in excess of £242,000.
The University of Birmingham’s own vice chancellor David Eastwood is the cream of the crop, with his annual salary standing at a staggering £400,000- a pay rise of £28,000 up from last year.
Whilst David Eastwood’s pay rise alone constitutes more than most university staff yearly wages, students at the university are feeling the effects of the dispute.
When approached by the Tab, one student voiced their concern over the strike today: “This is the third week this term that I’ve missed out on lectures due to strikes, Thursday is my busiest day so it’s pretty frustrating.”
Another second year History student told us that “six of my eight contact hours a week are on Thursday… over the last three weeks I have missed out on over 12 hours”
If you work out the average cost of an hours contact time for a history student, that amounts to nearly £450 in tuition fees lost to strike action.
Student concern at continued strike action appears justified; at a time when dissertation deadlines and final examinations are fast approaching for many.
Whilst the issues raised by the campaign over fair pay continue to remain unresolved, further disruption to university teaching looks certain.
With Unite and other unions set to continue with the strike campaign, Birmingham students can expect to lose out on more valuable teaching time in the near future.
Do you support the strike action? Tell us in the comments!