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48 hour walkout by university lecturers

Members of the University and College Union are staging a 48 hour walkout at universities across the region. They're protesting over a 1.1 per cent pay offer, and objecting to workers being employed on zero hour or casual contracts. Here's Simon Boxley, Branch Secretary at the University of Winchester on the picket line this morning.

University lecturers on strike over pay

The picket line outside the University of Winchester

University lecturers from the trade union UCU are on strike for two days over pay.

The union says that a suggested pay increase of 1.1% by the Universities and Colleges Employers' Association (UCEA) is too low and have described it as 'an insult'. It says that universities can afford to pay more and that staff have suffered a cut of 14.5% in real terms since 2009.

Staff will also refuse to work overtime, set additional work or undertake any voluntary duties once the strike has finished, until a settlement has been reached.

The union has warned that further strikes may take place in June and July if there is no agreement.

The UCEA says that the current offer is the most that universities can afford and that with pay progression, the average increase in pay for staff would be around 2.7%.

Having listened, considered and responded to the trade unions on all aspects of their claim the employers remain committed to the fair final offer they have made.

We have explained that this offer is at, and for some beyond, a limit of affordability for HE institutions and the very best offer that will be available this year.

– Professor Sir Paul Curran, Chair of UCEA
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