University of Bolton lecturers and staff walk out on strike in row over pay
STAFF at the University of Bolton walked out on strike in a row over pay.
Members of three unions — Unison, Unite and the University and College Union (UCU) — stood side by side at entrances to the university this afternoon, holding placards and handing out leaflets.
The unions say a one per cent pay rise offered to university staff is not good enough and will mean there has been a 13 per cent cut in real terms since 2008.
Speaking at the demonstration, Damien Markey, secretary of the UCU for the university and course leader in visual effects for film and TV, said: “We have been trying to consult with the University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) but they won’t consult with us.
“The one per cent pay rise offer is very unfair in a situation where there is a £1.1 billion surplus in the higher education economy and when the average pay for vice chancellors is £250,000 per year.
“It’s just not fair — we have to strike to get them back to the table, we don’t want to be doing this and impacting our students, but we have been forced into this position.”
Mr Markey said that other issues angering staff included gender pay inequalities and casual work contracts.
Also protesting was Janet Shaw, Unison steward and support worker at the university, who said: “We had to wait 12 months for the measly one per cent offer and that is 13 per cent behind what we should have got by now.”
Students at the university were also getting behind the staff.
Media production student Bryden Pedro, aged 20, said: “The students union is supporting the protest — it’s about our teachers and they are a big part of everything we do here.”
The UCEA have said pay increases to higher education staff will mean that salary costs in most institutions will actually rise by about three per cent this year.
A spokesman said: “This will comprise one per cent for all, alongside often overlooked gen-erous incremental in-creases and contribution pay for many, adding an additional two per cent to pay bills.”
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