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Statement regarding UCU strikes

In representation of our student voice, Warwick Students’ Union is in complete solidarity with striking UCU staff members at the University of Warwick.

In representation of our student voice, Warwick Students’ Union is in complete solidarity with UCU staff members at the University of Warwick who will be striking later this month and throughout the academic year. We maintain the fact that staff teaching conditions are students’ learning conditions, and so we join UCU’s fight for better pay, pensions and working conditions.

The UCU demands are clear, including a meaningful pay rise to deal with the cost-of-living crisis and action to end the precarious nature of employment contracts. Staff across the higher education sector have received a series of below pay-inflation offers which have now resulted in a 25.5% pay cut since 2009 [1]. At Warwick, 1,220 staff are on fixed-term contracts with no real source of stability [2].

As university fees have risen, the pressure to satisfy increasing student expectations has fallen on teaching staff. It is unacceptable that these staff are working in a highly pressurised environment, and it is unfair to students who, as a result, are impacted by poor teaching conditions. Despite the casualisation of contracts, pay issues, gender and race pay gaps and poor pensions, staff have continued to do their best to provide quality education.

We call for universities and employers to come to the table and take action to end these disputes. They have a responsibility to their staff and students to end pay disparities for marginalised groups, end precarious contracts, and protect staff pensions. We encourage students to show solidarity with the strikers and not take measures that undermine the strikes, such as crossing the picket line.

[1] https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/12128/Dispute-far-from-over-says-UCU-as-employers-force-through-pension-cuts  

[2] https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/staff/employment-conditions

 

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