Universities Begin Strike

Lecturers and workers at Northern Ireland's two universities have begun a strike as part of UK-wide action over pay and work loads.The one-day strike is being held by staff who belong to the University and College Union and the UK's biggest union, UNITE.

Neither Queen's University Belfast nor the University of Ulster officially support the action. Both universities have declared 'business as usual' during the action.

UNISON members are striking against a 1% pay offer.

The action has received support from unions across the world, including international public services union PSI, Canadian union CUPE, German union Ver.di, Greek union ADEDY and Korean union KFPS.
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UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: "Taking part in strike action on 31 October will send a message to the employers that they must stop their attempts to act like the worst private sector employers. Universities couldn't run without you and your colleagues and they rely on your dedication, flexibility and goodwill.

"I know that you have pride in the work you do and that for many of you, the idea of taking action is a difficult one. However, unless we take a strong stand they will continue to take advantage of you and your colleagues."

He concluded: "You deserve a better standard of living for your hard work and the contribution that you make to the success of UK universities. To achieve this, you need to speak up and show the depth of feeling among staff that it is time for a fair settlement in higher education."


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