College and university staff in new strike over pay

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: College and university staff in new strike over pay College and university staff in new strike over pay

Staff at Bradford University will strike on Monday, partly over how much pay they have been docked during previous strikes.

The University and College Union has been holding strike action over what they see as an “unsatisfactory” pay deal.

While staff at most universities will walk out for two hours on Monday, Bradford University is one of just 11 across the country holding a full day’s strike.

Union members say they are “angry” at bosses for docking a full day’s pay for two-hour strikes that took place last month.

However the University of Bradford said it expected the strike to have a minimal impact on students, and the university would be open as usual.

Leeds College of Art will also be holding a full day’s strike.

Staff will begin picketing the university at 7.30am on Monday over the increasingly bitter dispute over pay, and a number of students are expected to join them.

The union argues that the proposed one per cent pay rise is not enough for its members, and along with previous years’ pay deals amounts to a 13 per cent pay cut since 2009 when taking into account the cost of living.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said the argument over the amount of pay deducted from striking staff could end up in the courts. She added: “We will be launching a legal challenge to win back money we believe has been unlawfully deducted and, unless the employers finally sit down and start talking about a fair pay increase, further disruption, unfortunately, is to be expected.

“The principal of Leeds College of Art sits on the national pay negotiators’ board and should be trying to resolve this increasingly fractious dispute, not inflame matters by docking a full day’s pay from people on strike for just two hours.”

She said that while staff pay has been kept down, vice-chancellors enjoyed an average pay rise of 5.1 per cent last year, and an average salary of £235,000.

A spokesman at the University of Bradford said: “We are expecting minimal disruption on Monday and plans have been put in place to ensure the university is open as usual. These plans are based on the impact of previous strike action and we are working hard to ensure that the experience of our students, both academic and otherwise, is not affected.”

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