Three of the UK’s largest trade unions in higher education have announced their intention to strike on 31 October.
The decision, announced earlier this month, comes after three years in which inflation has risen disproportionately due to wages. Unions have claimed this has resulted in a 13 per cent drop in real wages since 2008.
The University and College Union, Unison and Unite all recently held ballots on strike action to which a majority of members voted in favour of.
The head of higher education at the UCU, Michael MacNeil, claimed that action had been taken because “staff have suffered year-on-year cuts in the value of their pay… quite simply, enough is enough”.
However, despite the results of these ballots, only five percent of the university workforce took part in the vote, leading some to question the validity of the result. A spokesman for the Universities and Colleges Employers Association said “the vast majority of [university] staff understand the reality of the current environment and would not want to take action that could harm their institutions and their students”.
Unless an agreement is reached in the next few weeks, a strike will go ahead on the 31st of the month which could bring universities to a ‘standstill’.