School’s out on strike day
Uni staff take action in Manchester
Staff at Manchester went on strike on yesterday in a row over pay and conditions.
Both academic and non-academic workers held protests at areas around campus including the SU and University Place.
Students were also asked to support the action by not attending lectures or using services like the libraries.
Three trade unions, Unite, Unison and the University and College Union (UCU), jointly organised the strike action, which saw lectures and seminars cancelled across the uni.
The strike comes as newly released figures suggest university staff have had a 13% pay cut in real terms over the last five years.
One lecturer, Dr James Naish from Computer Science, described how unhappy academics are.
“There’s been a huge increase in the amount of lecturers taking time off due to stress – they’re worried about their high work load and low salaries”, he explained.
He went on to say that there could even be an “exam boycott”, where lecturers would refuse to write or mark exams.
“We don’t want to do this, but we’ve threatened it in the past. It’s been a good way to get the employer back to the negotiating table”.
“Yet another piss poor pay rise”
Simon Holden, a science health and safety technician, spoke of his anger at the Chemistry building picket.
“We’ve had yet another piss poor pay rise of 1%; that’s the fifth year in a row we’ve been given a raise that’s less than the rate of inflation”, he said.
“It’s pretty shocking how they can’t afford a pay increase for workers on £20,000 yet they can give an increase to a Vice Chancellor who’s on ten times that amount”.
The SU also gave their full support for the action on their website.
Trade unions told The Tab that more action is already under way, with Unite and UCU voting to work-to-rule from next week.
This means some academic staff will only do contracted jobs within the university, and won’t do work in their own time, like making lecture notes.