Every university campus throughout the region affected due to industrial action

EIS members take part of strike action taking place in Dumfries

Strike action among university lecturers has affected every campus across the region.

Staff from University of Cumbria, University of the West of Scotland (Dumfries Campus), Glasgow University (Dumfries Campus), and Heriot Watt University (Galashiels Campus) have walked out as part of three days of strike action.

About 70,000 staff nationwide are striking over concerns relating to pay, working conditions and pensions. Future strikes are scheduled to take place on Friday 25 November and Wednesday 30 November.

The strike is one of the biggest in higher education history and the UCU stated they were expecting a historic turnout on its picket lines.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: "University staff are taking the biggest strike action in the history of higher education.

"They have had enough of falling pay, pension cuts and gig-economy working conditions - all whilst vice-chancellors enjoy lottery win salaries and live it up in their grace and favour mansions.

"Staff are burnt out, but they are fighting back and they will bring the whole sector to a standstill. Vice-chancellors only have themselves to blame.

"Their woeful leadership has led to the biggest vote for strike action ever in our sector.

"Further disruption can be avoided if the concerns of staff are addressed with urgency."

The strikes come after a ballot of UCU members who overwhelmingly voted in favour of industrial action.

Staff at the University of Cumbria were one university in the region to be taking part in strike action.

A University of Cumbria spokesperson said: “The strike action proposed by UCU is part of a national dispute. 

“We recognise that the decision to take industrial action is not taken lightly and we respect colleagues' right to take part.

“The University of Cumbria has discussed the matter constructively with UCU locally, and all parties are committed to handling the action and any associated impact on students in a responsible and sensible way.

“The university will make every effort to minimise the impact of the action on our students and to ensure that no student is materially disadvantaged as a consequence of the industrial action.

“Our campuses and all other university resources and support will remain open and available to all students during the strike.”

It is estimated that 2.5m students nationally will be effected by the strikes.

National Union of Students vice president Chloe Field said: "Students stand in solidarity with university staff going on strike."

The strike across universities in the region comes alongside a teachers strike which is affecting schools across Dumfries and Galloway.

Teachers across Scotland have walked out in the first day of national strike action amongst teachers in almost 40 years.

Members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) union voted overwhelmingly for strike action over a 5% pay offer which was rejected more than three months ago.

EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley said: “EIS members across Scotland are taking strike action today, in pursuit of a fair pay settlement from COSLA and the Scottish Government.

"We really did not want to be in this position, and have engaged constructively in talks for many months, but have been forced into this strike by the inaction of the Scottish Government and COSLA who have refused to make any improvement to a pay offer that was roundly rejected by teachers three months ago."

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