Solidarity to UCU strikers

Staff at the University of Bristol walked out today in a dispute over pension cuts and pay and working conditions.

The University and Colleges Union is calling for:
– a £2,500 pay increase for members
– an end to “pay injustice” and zero-hours contracts
– action to tackle “unmanageable workloads”

The union representing staff say that pay has fallen by 20% after twelve years of below inflation pay offers and that one third of academic staff are on insecure contracts.

They are also concerned about the gender pay gap sitting at 15% while the most recent Higher Education Statistics Agency figures reveal that, of 22,810 professors in the UK, under a third (27%) were women.

Staff are also experiencing high levels of work-related stress with a survey showing over half have probable signs of depression.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris who addressed the rally in Bristol said: “Solidarity to those taking strike action today. University staff deserve decent pay and working conditions and they should not be facing cuts to their pensions. It is now really important that everyone gets round the table and negotiates in earnest to avoid further disruption to students’ education. This can’t rumble on into the spring and exam season. It is time to show university staff the respect they deserve.”

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