University strike

Unions settle after long running dispute
UCU members took industrial action and action short of a strike in response to the employers’ failure to make HE members a proper pay offer for 2013-14. This included one day and two-hour strikes, and working to contract. The 2013-14 dispute ended when a conditional 2014-15 offer was accepted.
The final offer of 2% from August 2014 was in addition to last year’s offer of 1% from August 2013, and was conditional on the current 2013/14 dispute ending.
UNISON in HE also on strike on same national pay dispute as the current UCU

strikes details:

recent action over pay: 

UCU at Wolves University – their fourth strike so far this year took place on  10 February 9am-11am  

UCU at Wolves University  held a 2-hour strike on Tuesday 28 January 2pm-4pm

UNISON members were on strike all day Thursday 6th February

Action was also taken on Thursday 23 January 2014 11am-1pm

Strike on Thursday 11-January 2014 

On Tuesday December 3rd, UCU members in Further and Higher Education, along with UNITE and UNISON members in Higher Education, went on strike over their continued low pay. 

Saturday morning 14th December the University UNISON branch run a stall with leaflets, petitions, etc. over the HE pay claim in Wolverhampton centre near Queens Square
STRIKE RALLY Tuesday 3rd DECEMBER   Birmingham City Centre

Speakers invited:
University & College Union
Student Activists

First UK-wide joint strike between higher education unions took place  on Thursday 31 October 2013.  Universities across the UK were brought to a standstill by strike action by UCU, UNISON and Unite trade unions in an increasingly bitter row over pay.


Staff have been offered a pay rise of just 1% this year, which means they have suffered a pay cut of 13% in real terms since October 2008. Will Hutton highlighted that as one the most sustained cut in wages since the Second World War.

The squeeze on staff pay comes at a time when pay and benefits for university leaders increased, on average, by more than £5,000 in 2011-12, with the average pay and pensions package for vice-chancellors hitting almost £250,000.

Follow the hashtag #fairpayinHE on Twitter for updates.

UCU head of higher education, Michael MacNeil, said: ‘Staff have suffered year-on-year cuts in the value of their pay. Quite simply, enough is enough. We urge the employers to reflect on the fact that they are about to face their first ever strike by three unions at the same time and come to the negotiating table to resolve this dispute.

‘The suppression of academic pay is one of the most sustained pay cuts since the Second World War and, while strike action is always a last resort, the fact that staff are prepared to take this step demonstrates just how angry they are.’

Unison, head of higher education, Jon Richards, said: ‘Our members are upset and angry – this measly 1% offer is simply not good enough. The work of support staff is essential for the smooth running of universities and they play a vital role supporting students, but many are struggling to survive on low pay.   

‘The gap between prices and pay has widened since this government came to power and trying to feed a family and heat a home is a daily worry. The fact that staff are willing to take strike action shows how desperate they feel. The employers should take note and come back with a more realistic offer.’

Unite national officer for education, Mike McCartney, said: ‘Our members have had enough of the poverty pay increases of recent years. They have suffered a 13 per cent realterms pay cut since 2008 and have been left with no option but to fight for what’s fair.  There is still time for the employers to step back from the brink in this dispute. We urge them to get back around the negotiating table with the three unions to resolve it once and for all.’

More on the UCU ballot result can be found here.

More on the UNISON ballot result can be found here.

More on the Unite ballot result can be found here

The cumulative operating surplus in the higher education sector is now over £1 billion and many higher education institutions have built up cash reserves. Overall staff costs in higher education, as a proportion of income, have fallen from 58% in 2001/02, to 55.5% in 2011/12.

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