Last week we asked you, as students to vote for how you wished to be represented for the UCU strike that will be commencing Tuesday 3rd December 2013.
Hull College Students’ Union represent all students from FE & HE and after discussions with the executive committee (your elected officers), we wanted the students to decide whether we, as the Students’ Union stand with the UCU in solidarity over unfair pay and take part in the Strike on 3rd December, or stay neutral to the strike.
I can now confirm after closing the poll that 87.5% opted for the SU to stand in solidarity with UCU and not be in the college on the day of the strike.
Here is a reminder of what the strike is about;
This was voted on by the members of UCU who voted to back strike action in the row over pay. The union balloted staff after the employers offered a pay rise of just 0.7%, which would leave staff with a 15% pay cut in real terms over the past four years. Staff members are striking for living wage nationally, against a sexist 14% pay gap between men and women, and against a 13% pay cut in real terms over the last 4 years.
UCU head of bargaining, Michael MacNeil, said: ‘This result is a reflection of our members’ anger at the employers’ refusal to do anything to address falling pay at a time when the cost of living continues to rise.
‘College lecturers have seen their pay fall by 15% in the past four years and fail to make up any ground against school teachers’ pay, despite increasing workloads.’
UCU members in colleges will join their colleagues and members of Unison, Unite and the EIS in universities on strike on 3 December. Staff in universities are taking a second day of strike action over a ‘derisory’ 1% pay offer from their employers, which represents a 13% drop in real-terms pay for university staff over five years.
This is where National Union of Students’ stand on the strikes:
• NUS believes that lecturers and other staff in our universities and colleges should be properly supported and remunerated. We believe that fair pay is an issue of fairness in itself, but also note that there are very clear benefits to students that pay is at a level which attracts excellent staff, and helps to support the maintenance of a happy and motivated workforce.
• NUS believes the introduction of market forces into higher education are forcing universities to make rash economic decisions, incentivising them to engage in beauty contests rather than investing in the underpinnings of a quality education. Rather than allowing students and staff to be pitted against each other, NUS believes students and staff should find common ground and wherever possible, work together to defend education.
• NUS support the rights of all staff to challenge unfair practices, including to challenge pay and conditions which they democratically deem to be unfair.
• NUS recognises industrial action as an entirely legitimate means of raising such concerns. However, we have concerns where industrial action unnecessarily and seriously impacts on students – including on the marking and assessment of work, and the ability of students to graduate.
• NUS notes that it is entirely possible to undertake industrial action in a manner which limits negative impacts on students, and which actually encourages active support from students over issues of common cause and concern.
I would like to thank everyone who has voted on how they wish to be represented by HCSU.