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University strike still on as employers refuse to improve rejected pay offer

21 November 2013

Tuesday 3 December strike remains on, but unions hope for more talks to break impasse

UCU said today it was disappointed that talks aimed at resolving a pay dispute in universities ended without a resolution last night.

The union said to avoid strike action across UK universities on Tuesday 3 December the employers' representatives, UCEA, had to improve the 1% pay offer that was rejected by staff and which prompted strike action. UCU said it hoped there could be further talks before the 3 December action, but that the employers needed to return with an improved offer.

Staff have faced a real-terms pay cut of 13% since 2009 - a situation Will Hutton recently described as one of the most sustained suppressions of pay since the Second World War.     

UCU head of bargaining, Michael MacNeil, said: 'UCU members took strike action last month because they refused to accept the employers' pay offer and yet another real-terms pay cut. If we are to stand any chance of resolving this dispute the employers need to improve the offer that started the row in the first place.

'We are naturally disappointed that the employers chose not to improve the offer, but we remain hopeful there can be talks before the strike on Tuesday 3 December. However, if the employers turn up empty handed again then disruption in our universities looks inevitable.'

Members of the UCU, UNISON and Unite trade unions first took strike action on 31 October in the pay row. On 3 December they will be joined by colleagues in the EIS union. Members of UCU in English colleges will also be walking out in a separate dispute over pay.

Last updated: 10 December 2015