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Taking action in higher education

Staff protest at Staffordshire University in row over pay bargaining

10 June 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

Staff at Staffordshire University will hold a lobby at 6pm today outside the vice-chancellor's office on Blackheath Lane, against worsening terms and conditions bargaining.

The protestors will lobby members of the university's board of governors as they meet to discuss whether to press ahead with plans to take the university out of national pay bargaining.

The demonstration, which has been organised by members of UCU and UNISON, marks an escalation in the dispute which began when the university announced in April that it would become only the fourth institution in the country to pull out of national pay bargaining.
 
The unions said the move risks turning the university into a 'pariah' institution and said that with staff numbers and costs falling there was no logic behind the decision. The unions pointed to the fact that Staffordshire University enjoyed a 3.2% increase in government funding in the latest allocations.
 
UCU regional support official for Staffordshire, Rebecca Stewart, said: 'Pulling out of national pay bargaining would be an incredibly retrograde step and flies in the face of logic.  Staffordshire's staff numbers and costs have been falling in the last few years, and the university does not appear to be in any dire financial situation, so we cannot see why this drastic action is needed.'
 
UCU head of higher education, Michael MacNeil, said: 'We view the university's proposals as an attack on collective bargaining and on the unions. It would represent the biggest change in the history of industrial relations at the university and would set it apart from the vast majority of higher education institutions in the UK.'

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