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Hundreds of universities staff in Oxford go on strike
MORE than 1,000 staff across the two universities went on strike today in a dispute with their employers over pay.
It is the second time members of the University Colleges Union (UCU), Unison, Unite and GMB have walked out in just over a month.
Staff, from lecturers to cleaners, first took action on October 31 and today took to the picket lines again.
The strike included members at the University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes and the City of Oxford College.
The unions have rejected a 1% pay rise from employer UCEA saying that in the last five years staff have had a 13% cut to their wages.
Terry Hoad, president of UCU at Oxford University, said: “Everybody is important in this. The university does not just run on lecturers, we need everyone else to help it run.
“We need the librarians, the cleaners and the technical staff. The university would be a very different place if it wasn’t for everyone involved.”
- Terry Hoad and Alan Jenkins explain why workers are striking
He added: “Our members are not necessarily the lowest paid Alan Jenkins, Unison branch secretary, said: “Oxford is a very expensive place to live and work. Our members are on wages between £14,000 to about £25,000, with the majority on about £17-19,000.
“They deserve more than a 1% rise.”
Nikki Luke, who works in the Department of Education at the University of Oxford, said: “We are not just striking for academic staff. There are a whole range of support staff who also support the students who deserve better wages than a 1% offer.
“Oxford is the second most expensive city to live in the UK and the wages really do not match up.”
Jane McNicholl, a lecturer in science education, said: “There has been a sharp decrease in my pay packet since 2008 in real terms. There is no point taking strike action unless someone notices.”
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