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Taking action in higher education

Staff protest at Staffordshire University in row over pay

22 June 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

Staff at Staffordshire University will hold protests at 5.45pm tomorrow outside the vice-chancellor's office on Blackheath Lane, in a row over pay.

Protestors will lobby members of the university's board of governors for the second time in two weeks, 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 a dispute which began in April when the university announced 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 this year.
 
UCU president at Staffordshire University, Tim Harris, said: 'It is essential that the university understands the strength of feeling there is against this move. Withdrawing from national pay bargaining would be terrible for staff morale and would be an incredibly retrograde step. 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: 'Let's be clear here. If Staffordshire University pulls out of national pay bargaining it would represent the biggest change in the history of industrial relations at the university. There is no logic in Staffordshire pursuing this route. It risks becoming a pariah institution and setting itself apart from the vast majority of higher education institutions in the UK.'

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