UCU members vote for strike in pay row

Almost two-thirds of members voting back strike over 'insulting' 1.1 per cent pay offer

May 4, 2016

Members of the University and College Union working in higher education have voted in favour of strike action over pay.

The union said that 65.4 per cent of members who voted back strike action and 77.3 per cent voted for action short of a strike.

Turnout was 35.5 per cent, the UCU said.

The ballot follows what the UCU called a “marginally improved” offer – via the Universities and Colleges Employers Association – of a 1.1 per cent pay increase for 2016-17.

The union had originally called for a 5 per cent increase.

“The union’s national representatives will meet on Friday to discuss the ballot result, before a decision is made on what form the industrial action will take and when it will begin,” the UCU said, arguing that higher education staff have seen a real-terms pay cut of 14.5 per cent since 2009 after a series of below inflation pay awards.

Sally Hunt, the UCU general secretary, said: “Strike action is always a last resort for educators but the squeeze on pay has created real anger and staff working in higher education want to see a sensible offer which begins to address the real-terms pay cut they have endured since 2009.

“The employer’s marginal 0.1 [percentage point] increase to their 1 per cent offer is insulting and Ucea urgently needs to review its approach.”

A Ucea spokesman, referring to the turnout figure, said: “HE institutions believe that their staff will be perplexed by the UCU's premature ballot and, with just 23 per cent of UCU members voting for strike action, it is clear that the overwhelming majority have no wish to play a part in action that may damage outcomes for their students."  

He added that the "final" pay offer amounted to an average sector increase of 2.7 per cent once progression pay was included, and was "at the absolute limit of affordability and the very best that will be available.

"It is an offer that addresses the key aspects of the trade union claim this year and one that we think all the trade unions should put to their members.”


You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Reader's comments (1)

is it exam season yet??

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Felipe Fernández-Armesto takes issue with a claim that the EU has been playing the sovereignty card in Brexit negotiations

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

John McEnroe arguing with umpire. Tennis

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman explain how to negotiate your annual performance and development review

Man throwing axes

UCU attacks plans to cut 171 posts, but university denies Brexit 'the reason'

Cricket player and umpire exchanging bribe

The need to accommodate foreign students undermines domestic practices, says Lincoln Allison, spying parallels between UK universities and global sports bodies such as Fifa