UWE staff to strike in row over pay

STAFF at the University of the West of England will go on strike tomorrow amid a row over pay.

Classes will be cancelled as lecturers take to picket lines at the Frenchay Campus on Coldharbour Lane.

There will also be picket lines at Ashley Down Centre on Ashley Down Road, College Green Centre and Senate House as the City of Bristol College and the University of Bristol staff also take part in the national day of action.

Many will then make their way to College Green in Bristol for a rally that starts at 1pm.

Teaching staff are angry that although the cost of living has risen, lecturers’ pay has been slashed in real terms since 2009.

Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) regional official Nick Varney said: “Staff in Bristol’s universities and colleges are taking strike action to say enough is enough. They have seen their pay slashed in real terms since 2009 and this year’s miserly pay offer, at a time of rising bills, was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“Staff love their jobs, but their goodwill cannot continue to be taken for granted. Nobody wants to take strike action and lose a day’s pay, but we feel we have been left with no alternative.”

University staff first walked out on October 31 when members of UCU, Unison and Unite took strike action. Tomorrow they will be joined by their colleagues in the EIS trade union in Scotland. Meanwhile lecturers at further education colleges in England will be taking their first day of strike action, also in a row over pay.

UCU’s negotiators for both college and university lecturers have offered to clear their diaries in an effort to resolve the dispute before tomorrow’s strike and the union says it hopes disruption can be avoided.

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