University staff to have their say on potential strike over pay

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Have your say

STAFF at the University of Portsmouth can now have their say about going on strike over pay.

Trade union Unite is balloting about 9,000 staff members across the country to determine whether industrial action will be called.

Unite opened the ballot yesterday, saying that years of below-inflation pay rises have seen staff pay shrink by up to 16 per cent in real terms since 2012.

Mike McCartney, Unite’s national officer said: ‘The last thing our members want is to take strike action but after years of below-inflation pay rises they have been left with no choice. The squeeze on staff salaries comes when the pay of university leaders and senior managers has increased by an average of more than five per cent.’

The union say that the average pay packet for a university vice-chancellor is about £272,000.

Mr McCartney added: ‘The employers need to start recognising the critical role our members play in keeping the country’s biggest and best universities running. Without them things would grind to a halt.’

Unite is calling for employers to get back around the table to negotiate an improved pay offer with the ballot closing on September 21.