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One Day Strike Hits University

Published on: 31 Oct, 2013
Updated on: 5 Nov, 2013
A picket line at The University of Surrey today (October 31)

A picket line at The University of Surrey today (October 31)

A one-day strike was staged in support of a fair pay rise for staff at the University of Surrey today (October 31).

Picket lines were set up and students were said to have responded sympathetically. At least one lorry due to make a delivery was turned back and local bus drivers on the route through campus hooted their approval as they went by.

The action is part of a nationwide response to a pay offer of just 1%. It was called by the largest three unions in the sector, UCU (University & College Union), UNISON and Unite.

A UCU press release stated: “The squeeze on staff pay comes at a time when pay and benefits for university leaders increased, on average, by more than £5,000 in 2011-12, with the average pay and pensions package for vice-chancellors hitting almost £250,000.

“According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency HESA, universities are sitting on reserves of around £10billion (even after pension liabilities) and yet employers say they cannot afford to help staff whose pay has fallen in real terms by 13% since 2009.

“Staff at the university are concerned about the impact of low pay on the higher education sector.  They would like to see their best students follow them into university teaching and administration but fear that, if the employer’s proposal goes ahead, present day students will be put off entering the profession.”

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