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HE institutions report very little disruption to students on UCU's strike day

HE institutions are reporting that the strike action today (25 May) by UCU is having minimal impact on their students. However, HE institutions remain disappointed by UCU’s campaign and to see any staff striking when there is a 2016-17 fair and final offer on the table*. 

The employers’ final offer includes a 1.1% uplift on base pay for all, a real terms increase at more than triple the current official inflation level, which with progression pay brings the average increase for the staff group covered to 2.7%. There are also substantial extra increases for the lower paid, enabling the voluntary Living Wage to be met.

The vast majority of staff understand the financial realities for their institution and will know that the increases available this year show a significant investment in the people that deliver the success in the institution and are at, or even beyond, what their institution can afford.

The offer also includes full proposals for new and significant joint work on two important issues where the employers are genuinely enthusiastic to work with the trade unions; the gender pay gap and casual working arrangements. We would like to see UCU conduct a consultation allowing their members to consider all the elements of this final pay offer.

 
A UCEA spokesperson said:
 
“As expected there were pickets present at some campuses this morning and some town-based rallies organised by UCU as part of its campaign, but HE institutions are reporting full operations today and that their students faced no significant disruption. Examinations are still taking place at this time of year at some HE institutions, but institutions are reporting that students are not being affected. Since less than 7%** of academic staff voted to support this strike, this was as expected. The majority of staff understand the financial realities for their institutions and we would much rather see UCU’s members being consulted on the full final offer now on the table.
 
“Seeing any industrial action is naturally disappointing given the very good pay offer, plus the joint work on gender pay and casual employment that is on the table. The student experience is a primary concern for all HE institutions and so staff will be doing their very best to protect students from any disruption.”
 
* The full final offer on pay and other related matters for 2016-17 can be seen here.
** The sector employs 198,335 academic staff of which 13,775 UCU members voted for this strike action.

ENDS

For further information please contact: Andy Fryer, Head of Communications and Membership (a.fryer@ucea.ac.uk) or Marc Whittaker, Communications and Events Officer (m.whittaker@ucea.ac.uk) on 020 7383 2444.

Notes to Editors

All recent UCEA media releases and comments relating to issues in the lead up to today’s strike action are available on the news page.