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Lecturers welcome student support in university pay row

28 March 2014 | last updated: 10 December 2015

Members of UCU Scotland will meet today for their annual conference in Stirling. Top of the list of issues to be discussed is the ongoing dispute with university employers over pay.

While staff have seen their pay fall in real terms by 13% since 2009, university principals saw their pay rocket by an average of more than 5% in just one year. Delegates will consider motions on the dispute and meet in closed session to discuss tactics. 

With the dispute dominating the agenda, UCU Scotland was delighted to receive the support of the National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland at the weekend.  At the NUS Scotland congress, delegates passed a motion reaffirming their support for staff in the dispute and called on the employers' organisation to meet union demands for a fair settlement.

UCU Scotland president, Dave Anderson, said: 'UCU Scotland is delighted to receive support from students and student leaders in Scotland. The last thing staff want to do is to have to take actionwhich affects their students, but cuts to pay are having a negative effect on staff and higher education as a whole.  Students want a fair resolution to this dispute and UCU is working hard to make this happen.  In a formal meeting yesterday the employers recognised that the falling value of pay is an issue but did not make an offer; it's essential that they bring a fair offer to the next scheduled talks on 15 April.'

President of NUS Scotland Gordon Maloney said: 'It's important to remember that staff haven't gone on strike in pursuit of grace and favour houses, lavish expenses or six figure salaries - the perks enjoyed by university principals - but in response to a measly offer of 1%. And that's in a year where we've seen Scottish university principals enjoying bonuses and pay increases as high as 24%.

'Classes being cancelled and students not being allowed to graduate or progress is a disgrace, but one that management and UCEA are responsible for.  As long as they keep nothing more than a derisory offer on the table they're going to be failing students, and driving a wedge between them and the lecturers who are doing a great job teaching them for little reward. NUS Scotland is proud to stand fully behind our lecturers, and we want to see this dispute end as soon as possible, with all parties getting back round the table to ensure a fair deal for staff and students.'

Notes

UCU Scotland Congress meets in Stirling on Friday 28 March 2014.  Motions to be discussed include the ongoing dispute with employers, sexism on campus, zero hours in the higher education sector and widening access to higher education.

NUS Scotland conference took place on 22 and 23 March 2014.  Full details of the motion passed are available from NUS Scotland on 0131 556 6598.

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