Lecturer defends strikes
Exclusive: Reasons behind strikes explained.
The Tab has spoken to International Relations lecturer Dr Chris Hesketh to get a personal insight into the strikes which look set to continue well into semester two.
He said: “We are on strike to demand fair pay in higher education for all members of staff and not just management. We are on strike to demand secure employment for all staff too.”
The predominant cause is a decrease in pay that the lecturers have been forced to take whilst those in charge of universities have seen their pay increase.
Since 2009 pay has gone down by 13% in real terms and there has been a rise in zero hour contracts.
Dr Hesketh went on: “The latest offer of a 1 percent pay ‘rise’ is in effect another pay cut as it does not keep up with inflation.”
It has been suggested that many lecturers will find themselves out of pocket and forced to resign.
The impact upon our classes was described as “regrettable” but if the two sides are unable to reach a conclusion more action could be taken after the Easter holidays. Furthermore there is a possibility that some lecturers will refuse to mark exam papers.
A leaflet handed out at today’s picket line said that there is surplus money held by UK universities but that it mostly spent on new buildings. Dr Hesketh added: “The university will claim that the student experience should be put first but a well-paid, motivated and happy staff are not considered part of such experience.”
The University and College Union are supported in their efforts by the NUS and believe the benefits will outweigh a few unplanned lecture-free days. The Union also believes the tripling in student fees is unfair, and does not match up with pay cuts they have had to take.
The Tab wants to know what you think. Do you support the lecturers in their stand or do you think they should go back to work?
Have your lectures been cancelled? Read The Tab’s guide on things to do on strike day.