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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


Man arrested on suspicion of murder at Chichester Marina: 17 suspected migrants also detained


A British man wanted on suspicion of murder has been arrested along with 17 suspected Albanian migrants at Chichester Marina.

The 55-year-old, who was being sought over a killing in Spain, was held with the Albanians at Chichester Marina in West Sussex.

Spanish authorities had issued a European Arrest Warrant for the Briton who is now in custody pending interview by immigration enforcement investigators.

He was detained on Tuesday morning on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration, while the 17 Albanian men were held on suspicion of entering the UK illegally.

The Albanians have been detained pending Home Office consideration of their cases.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The security of our border is paramount. "We work with our partners to detect and deter people who attempt to reach the UK illegally, while targeting the criminal gangs behind illegal entry attempts."

A locked facility with more than 1,000 berths, Chichester Marina is set in beautiful scenery and has a "marked air of peace and tranquillity", according to its website.

The discovery comes a month after the National Crime Agency (NCA) revealed that migrants trying to reach the UK are paying smuggling gangs up to £13,500 for their journey.

Investigators suspect that, as well as the main Channel crossing between Calais and Dover, criminals may be using less busy ports in the UK, including Tilbury, Purfleet, Hull, Immingham and Newhaven.

Concern is growing for 79 year-old man missing from Lewes


Police are searching for missing man James Johnson from Lewes.

The 79-year-old was last seen at his home in Meridian Road at 11pm on Monday.

James, who can be forgetful, has no mobile phone or access to a car.

He is described as white, 6', balding with short grey hair around the sides, a crooked shaped nose and believed to be wearing a turquoise polo shirt and dark blue trousers.

The police helicopter and officers have been looking searching around Lewes, Kingston, Ringmer and the surrounding area for him.

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