UNISON staff at Brighton University to join UCU members on strike

Administrators, librarians, laboratory technicians, caterers, cleaners, and facilities workers will go on strike on Thursday, December 2 in a dispute over pay.

Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 12:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 4:04 pm

Staff from both the city’s universities have held two days of strikes over pensions cuts, a pay freeze and what they say are worsening working conditions.

Members of two unions, took part in industrial action on Wednesday (December 1) and Thursday, with a third day of action planned on Friday.

On Wednesday UCU (University and College Union) members from both the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton began three days of proposed strikes.

The striking staff have included lecturers, administrators, librarians, laboratory technicians, caterers, and cleaners.

On Thursday they were joined by Unison members from Brighton University.

The striking staff have included lecturers, administrators, librarians, laboratory technicians, caterers, and cleaners.

University of Brighton Unison branch secretary Ivan Bonsell said: “Even at this late stage, Unison is willing to listen to serious offers which could avoid strike action.

“But staff will not put up with continuous real terms pay cuts. The cost of living is increasing significantly and staff are tired of being taken for granted.

“These are among the lowest paid staff at the university and they’ve worked tirelessly to maintain education standards during the pandemic. Effectively cutting their pay in no way to thank them.

“University leaders are happy to prioritise spending on new buildings – they need to invest in their staff too.”

Mark Abel, a University of Brighton representative, said after the first day of protesting: “It was a great start to our three-day strike.

“We had determined pickets on all our campuses and excellent support from students.”

Picket lines were held outside the main university entrances on both Wednesday and Thursday, and on Thursday members from both unions marched through Brighton city centre to a rally held at The Level.

A University of Sussex spokesperson said: “This industrial action has been called over national issues and we respect the rights of our staff who are taking part.

“For everyone affected, we really hope that a resolution can be found quickly. Here at Sussex, our overwhelming focus and a huge amount of effort is going into minimising disruption to our students’ education and keeping university services running.”

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