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Wolverhampton University staff to strike over pay

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Staff at Wolverhampton University will stage a two-day strike next week in support of a national pay claim.

Union members at the city centre and Walsall campuses are also protesting against the gender pay gap and the use of short-term contracts, with Wolverhampton named in the worst 25 per cent of UK universities for offering 'casual' contracts.

The walk-out will take place next Wednesday and Thursday.

Staff describe the 1.1 per cent pay rise offered by the UCEA, the body representing university employers nationally, as 'insulting'.

They claim academic staff pay has fallen by three per cent over the last five years whilst university vice-chancellors' pay has increased by 14 per cent in that time.

They say the average vice chancellor's pay has reached £272,432 a year, more than six and a half times higher than the average wage of their staff, while women academics are paid more than £6,000 a year less than male counterparts.

It is also argued that zero-hour contracts are increasingly being used to cover and replace permanent posts, with over two-thirds of research staff stuck on fixed-term contracts.

Catherine Lamond, representing members of the University and College Union (UCU) at Wolverhampton, said: "Higher education has become a much less attractive sector for young people who are having to resort to accepting hourly-paid teaching jobs which do not acknowledge the time they spend preparing for classes and marking assessments.

"All things considered, these people are earning less than the minimum hourly wage and sometimes find themselves with no earnings for half of the year.

The student experience is also negatively affected by this as students cannot rely on staff to help them outside of their teaching hours. Our working conditions are the students' learning conditions."

Staff will form picket lines at City (Wulfruna Street) and Walsall (Gorway Road) campuses.

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