Strikes at the Sidgwick Site Today!
We guide you through today’s strikes at the Sidgwick Site.
Today, lecturers and academic support staff from the University and College Union (UCU) will be striking from 11am to 1pm to protest over a measly 1 per cent pay increase. For Cantabs this will mean picket lines outside many of their lectures, where staff and students alike will urge people to support the strike by not crossing to attend lectures or other university based events.
Explaining the action, UCU General Secretary Sally Hunt said: “Despite another round of embarrassing revelations about the very handsome pay rises those at the very top have enjoyed recently, universities are still refusing to improve on 1 per cent pay offer and are still oblivious to the hypocrisy of their actions.”
Her words may well strike a chord at Cambridge where last year Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz received a massive pay rise of £20,000 bringing his salary to £293,000. This comes in the context of shocking revelations about low pay at the university where UCU say academics have faced a 13% cut in their real terms salary since 2009.
But the University and College Employers Association (UCEA), the higher education industry body charged with negotiating pay, have rejected the strikes as “a cynical move to cause, in the union’s own terms ‘maximum disruption’ while minimising cost to members”.
The UCEA spokesman continued: “Institutions will do their very best to protect students but this industrial action is designed to damage the student experience. UCEA goes on to suggest that the UCU’s pay demands are neither nor sustainable.”
Staff have told students that they are more than welcome to join in with the strikes. So, if you want to show soldarity, or just to miss a couple of lectures: grab your cardboard sign and get down to Sidgwick.