University of Brighton staff have left in a wave of strikes over a pay dispute.
Administrative, cleaning, library, security and catering workers are among some 70,000 members of the University and College Union (UCU) and Unison taking part in industrial action in the largest strike of its kind.
An estimated 2.5 million students are reported to have been affected by this week’s strike, with unions warning of escalating action in the new year if the dispute is not resolved.
UCU General Secretary Jo Grady, who joined a picket line in Manchester, said members were “tired” of falling wages, cut pensions and working conditions in the gig economy.
She said: “Our members are absolutely ready for this strike in large numbers because they know what is at stake.
“Universities have £40bn in reserves but seem to care more about buildings than people.
“Around 90,000 employees have fixed-term contracts. They want to have a career but are prevented from putting down roots.”
Brighton University staff are taking part in their second wave of industrial action following a series of strikes in September and October over wages.
Steve Torrance, Unison South East Regional Secretary, said: “Low wages have been a massive and growing problem in the university sector for more than a decade.
“The cost of living crisis is driving people to the abyss. University staff can’t even cover the basics.
“They’ve had enough and are leaving the sector for better-paying jobs.
“Strike is always the last resort, but insufficient pay for workers this year is the last resort.
“Universities should do the right thing and come back with more money to show they care about their staff. This would help keep them in their posts so students can get the support they need and have the best possible university experience.”
Strikes will also take place at Brighton University tomorrow and November 30th.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23146331.brighton-university-staff-join-nationwide-strike-action/?ref=rss Brighton University staff join nationwide strike