The strike relates to the current dispute on the national pay claim and the UCU would wish to advise of the following background to the dispute.
Since 2009, staff in higher education institutions in the UK have suffered a 14.5% real terms pay cut set against the cost of living. Over the same period we have seen year on year above inflation pay increases for many university principals, with increases this year of up to 15%. The employers’ initial offer of 1% for staff was rejected by UCU and their improved offer, adding a miserly 0.1%, is, in our view, derisory. Our pay claim also asks employers to work with campus unions to tackle the gender pay gap in higher education and to reduce the proportion of staff on casual and zero-hour contracts. The employers are refusing to engage with campus unions collectively on these matters.
Against this background UCU members were balloted and strongly backed both strike action and action short of strike. UCU members will walk out on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 May and will do so again on future dates unless progress is made in the coming weeks. In addition, UCU members will begin working to contract on 25 May and those who hold additional posts as external examiners have been asked to resign those posts.
We are of course aware that only UCU members can lawfully participate in this industrial action, but would ask that any trade unions or trade union members who may have business in universities on Wednesday and Thursday be aware of the strike action and supportive to the UCU pickets.
Messages of support and solidarity to striking UCU members can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com> or tweeted to @UCUScotland