Students have been affected by more strike action by the university unions this week.
On Tuesday 3rd December, three unions – UCU, UNISON and Unite – went on strike in protest against low pay offers.
One picket line was staged outside the Main Arts Building with approximately fifteen people – including university lecturers, as well as many other picket lines at other Higher Education buildings across North Wales and the rest of the country.
The strikes affected lectures and seminars across the university, however many schools remained largely unaffected by the union action, with scheduled teaching hours going ahead as normal.
These strikes follow the action that took place at the end of October as part of one of the largest union demonstrations by universities in years.
Union members are striking over the offer of a 1% pay rise to university staff members, including lecturers, technicians and administration workers.
Due to inflation and the rising cost of living, the unions state that this would mean a 13% pay cut in real terms since 2008.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said, “The employers’ imposed payment of 1% does not address the increasing cost of living for staff who face rising energy costs and increasing food bills, and does little for the 4,000 staff working in universities who earn less than the living wage.” Although there has been no agreement, representatives from all sides have confirmed their intentions to continue discussion in the hope of resolution to the dispute.
A statement released by the Bangor University Students’ Union affirmed their support for the right of university staff to take industrial action, stating their belief in a ‘properly funded education system’ of which staff salaries are an integral part, and that staff who feel valued will ‘make for a much better University and a much more fruitful, and stable, student experience for our members.’
The statement went on to say that it was ‘positive’ that the strikes did not take place during examination periods, and confirmed that the Students’ Union will ‘continue to work with both parties to protect [student]interests, whilst supporting the rights of staff to take action on matters that they deem appropriate.’