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  1. ITV Report

Welsh universities strike over pensions and pay

Cardiff University is one of three Welsh Universities on strike

Staff at three Welsh universities are on strike for eight days over pensions, pay and working conditions.

The universities affected in Wales include Cardiff, Bangor and Trinity St David University and it is part of a UK wide strike including 60 universities.

The strike will run from 25th November until 5th December.

The University College Union says it aims to bring the universities to a “stand still” and they promise further disruptions in the New Year if no progress is made.

This will be the second time in two years that University and College Union (UCU) members have taken part in a large national strike.

Striking is always a last resort, but these continued attacks on pensions, when our own experts as well as independent bodies have confirmed our scheme is in surplus, mean we have little choice but to stand together and stick up for ourselves.

– Cardiff UCU spokesperson Andy Williams

They hope this strike will lead to improvements in:

  • Pay
  • Workloads
  • Insecure employment
  • Pay inequality

According to the UCU, pay has fallen by 20% in value in ten years, the gender pay gap is currently 15% and there is a large divide in salaries with the Vice at Cardiff University earning more than £250,000 in basic pay.

They also report that fixed-term and casual contracts are "the norm" and zero-hours contracts are still in place. PhD students are also often not counted as employees.

A mass rally will be held in Cardiff’s civic centre, Alexandra Gardens and will be addressed by staff, students and Labour MP Jo Stevens and the Vice President of the Wales TUC Shavanah Taj.

Credit: PA Images

It is quite staggering that the employers have allowed things to get to this stage and done so little to avoid the upcoming disruption. Instead of engaging seriously with us over the various elements of the disputes, they have been all spin and no substance.

– UCU General Secretary, Jo Grady