UNISON protestors claim Bristol University is refusing to negotiate on pay rise

UNISON protestors have pitched up outside Uni buildings to protest a six per cent pay cut

UNISON protestors have claimed that Bristol University is not cooperating in negotiations this week. Workers have taken to the campus streets in opposition to an inadequate pay rise for catering, administrative and library staff.

According to UNISON the three per cent pay rise offered by the university, when adjusted for inflation, equates to a six per cent pay cut. Alternatively, protesting staff have requested a two per cent pay rise above inflation which currently stands at 9.8%.

Picketers told The Tab that when approached for negotiation the University refused to meet with its staff to help them deal with the rising cost of living.

Along with reportedly denying the workers negotiations, Bristol University has also released a statement to the human resources department stating that the impact of the strikes would be “minimal”, a response that one protestor called “offensive”.

In response, a Bristol University spokesperson said: “UNISON advised that they had a mandate for strike action in relation to the pay award and we met with them on September 20 ahead of the strike action which is being undertaken this week. The University of Bristol is part of national HE collective bargaining so we cannot unilaterally change the pay award.

“We have been in discussion with all three trade unions, which includes UNISON, about pay and reward and remain committed to continuing those discussions. We next meet in October at our Joint Negotiation and Consultation Committee (JCNC) where we will discuss what options we have at Bristol to support our staff with the cost-of-living crisis”.

UNISON is the largest union in the nation representing over 1.3 million workers. Bristol University members include administrative, cleaning, library, catering and security employees.

Strikes have taken place across multiple universities this week including Manchester, Edinburgh and Leeds. Mike Short, Head of Education at UNISON, said: “Staff have reached breaking point and have little choice but to strike.

“For years they’ve watched wages slip further behind living costs. Now huge price increases threaten to push many over the edge.”

When asked what students can do to support the protests, a UNISON member said: “Students can send an email to the senior management, or if you’re a leading member of a society you can use your society email instead”.

For more information about the strikes click here

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