Classes disrupted by East Lancs UCU strikes

CLASSES were disrupted today as lectures and support staff went on strike.

Members of the University and College Union stood at picket lines alongside their colleagues from the Unison and Unite unions, after deciding to take industrial action over a pay dispute.

They were offered a 0.7 per cent pay rise this year, which Ashley Whalley, UCU member and politics lecturer at Blackburn College, said equated to a 15 per cent pay cut over the last four years.

He said: “The strike was well-supported.

“People recognise that pay is a key fector and we are trying to attract and keep the best members of staff.

“It should not be a race to the bottom and while we do appreciate people are suffering badly, we cannot just keep taking pay cuts.

“It is time the government changed tact.”

UCU membership secretary and regional chairman John Murphy said the pay offer was ‘an insult’.

He said: “Although there has been quite a lot of money spent on education, none of it has managed to get down to the people who do the real education and teaching.

“We care for our students, but we are getting poorer and poorer and so are our families and students.

“The National Union of Students understands and they also want lecturers who are not worried about bills and can get on with teaching them.”

A spokesman for the University of Central Lancashire, which has a campus at Burnley, said: “The university was determined to minimise the strike’s impact on students by communicating any changes to the academic timetable in advance of the strike.

“Students were alerted to the cancellation of lectures or seminars and other timetabled sessions.”

Emma Mason, director of employment policy and services at the Association of Colleges, said: “UCU’s industrial action risks damaging the education and training of students, undermines the reputation of colleges both locally and nationally and places an undue burden on non-teaching staff and non-union members to take measures to minimise disruption to the student experience.”

Comments (3)

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6:42am Wed 4 Dec 13

SWP supporter says...

Great - I hope they win
Great - I hope they win SWP supporter

8:24am Wed 4 Dec 13

liddle 'un says...

I bet the picket line was a real lefty love fest.

No doubt off to the pub afterwards, for a glass or two of Rioja, and to moan about Thatcher, recount the works of Karl Marx or discuss this year's holiday in the Italian Lakes.
I bet the picket line was a real lefty love fest. No doubt off to the pub afterwards, for a glass or two of Rioja, and to moan about Thatcher, recount the works of Karl Marx or discuss this year's holiday in the Italian Lakes. liddle 'un

10:36am Wed 4 Dec 13

Interlocutor says...

“UCU’s industrial action risks damaging the education and training of students, undermines the reputation of colleges both locally and nationally and places an undue burden on non-teaching staff and non-union members to take measures to minimise disruption to the student experience.”

- All of which are good reasons for paying your staff adequately so that they don't feel compelled to take strike action.
“UCU’s industrial action risks damaging the education and training of students, undermines the reputation of colleges both locally and nationally and places an undue burden on non-teaching staff and non-union members to take measures to minimise disruption to the student experience.” - All of which are good reasons for paying your staff adequately so that they don't feel compelled to take strike action. Interlocutor

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