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Students and staff strike for their rights at UoB

Unison are entering their sixth day of strike action on campus, campgaining for equal pay and fair wage


The support staff union 'Unison' are entering their sixth day of strike action after the University failed to meet their initial negotiation demands in late 2018.

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Picketers have been stationed since 4:30am at multiple university entrances to try and engage passing students, and held a protest outside the university station at 11.

The group approached the University asking for a fair pay rise for student workers and support staff and asking that wage payments be made within set time frames. Their demands ask for living wage accreditation, to end the gender pay gap, a fair pay rise, to restructure the pay spines and for the university to address joint union demands.

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We spoke to a member of the University of Birmingham Student Workers group, who told The Birmingham Tab "UBSW stands in solidarity with everyone effected by the implementation of NewCore and the generally exploitative working conditions on campus. This strike is a chance for us to show our solidarity and encourage other students on campus to get involved. We want to make UoB a better place to work for everyone."

Additionally in an open letter to the University a member of staff spoke of their experience saying how while working at the university, they took out loans to make ends meet, lived on their free staff dinner only so they could feed my children, and used food banks on a regular basis.

"I came here for a better life…what I don't understand is how you can justify taking a hefty bonus whilst other staff members can't afford the basic necessities."

In response to The Birmingham Tab's request for comment, a spokesperson for the University of Birmingham said "We have met with Unison a number of times to try and bring an end to the dispute and we remain disappointed that we have not yet been able to reach an agreement.

"… We recognise that staff at the lower end of the pay spectrum may be disproportionately affected by increases in the cost of living or cuts in government funding, which is why this year is the 11th consecutive year that our support staff pay awards are in line with or above those negotiated nationally."