Spooky Strike

Picket lines and rallies to be in place across campus this Halloween, as part of a nationwide strike against pay cuts for University staff

Darkness and horror descends on Liverpool this Halloween, as University staff strike over a pay dispute.

Staff have been offered a meagre 1% pay rise this year, and as the cost of living mounts, this means a pay cut of 13% in real terms since October 2008.

Almost two-thirds of University and College Union (UCU) backed the strike on October 16th, and the Unison and Unite unions joined them.

61.5% of UCU members support the strike

61.5% of UCU members support the strike

It is within workers’ legal rights not to declare whether they intend to strike or not, so it is hard to say how many University staff will be taking part – however, Unions encouraged staff to alert students if they were striking, to allow classes to be rearranged.

Many students have seen their Thursday schedules disrupted due to strike action.

The row over pay comes during a good period for University leaders – pay and benefits for senior officials increased, on average, by more than £5,000 in 2011-12, with the average pay and pensions packet for Vice-Chancellors coming to almost £250,000.

Liverpool Uni's Revolutionary Socialists have really embraced the Halloween theme

Liverpool Uni’s Revolutionary Socialists have really embraced the Halloween theme

Picket lines will be in place across campus from 5:30AM on Thursday – although picketers aren’t allowed to prevent you from crossing them, students can expect to be discouraged if they’re not observing the strike.

A central rally will also be taking place in University Square at 12:30PM – expect halloween-themed costumes from many of the protesters.

UPDATE: The Guild has released a statement on the strike:

“We believe that there are very clear benefits to students when pay is at a level which attracts excellent staff, and helps to support the maintenance of a happy and motivated workforce. As such we are in support of strike action being taken on 31st October.  

Strike action is always a last resort and we hope that this action leads to the re-opening of negotiations and a speedy resolution. Our support of industrial action is being carried out with the desire to protect students’ educational interests, and the interests of future students.”

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