University staff walk-out over strike pay docked at Queen Mary’s and UEL
09:03 10 February 2014
Staff are on strike today at university campuses across east London over pay and having salaries docked.
The one-day strike from 9am has hit Queen Mary’s University of London at Whitechapel and Mile End and the University of East London at Stratford and Royal Docks, as well as the University of Greenwich.
Staff at most universities are only out for two hours between 9am and 11am, as part of strategy by the University and College Union.
But members some universities voted to extend the strike because they claim a full-day’s pay was being docked for just a two-hour stoppage.
“Staff are furious at how they have been treated,” said union general secretary Sally Hunt. “The three universities will suffer a full day’s strike because of the extra pay being docked when staff are involved in just a two-hour walk-out.
“The universities’ motives are intimidation and penny-pinching.”
Both Queen Mary and the UEL say they’ll take a full day’s pay from anyone who takes part in the two-hour strike, while the University of Greenwich is docking half-a-day’s pay.
The universities now face a legal challenge to recover money the union says it believes has been unlawfully deducted. Further industrial disruptions are threatened.
The union is embroiled in a pay dispute after university bosses refused to improve a one per cent pay offer it claims will leave its members with 13 per cent pay cut in real-terms since 2009.
Staff pay has been kept below those in other English-speaking countries, says the union, while vice-chancellors got an average five per cent rise last year with average salary reaching £235,000.