Winchester University strike over pay ramps up this week

Three more days of strike action at the University of Winchester follow seven taken in June this year.

Support staff at the University of Winchester will take three days of strike action this week over their inadequate pay rise, says UNISON today (Tuesday).

The workers – who include cleaners, IT technicians, administrators, library staff and others supporting student learning – will walk out tomorrow (Wednesday) until Friday in an escalation of their dispute, which follows seven days of strike action in June.

UNISON says the pay rise staff have been given falls short of what’s needed to cope with cost-of-living pressures.

The 2023/24 pay offer is worth 5-8% depending on salary, with a higher percentage rise for lower paid workers.

UNISON South East head of higher education Neil Duncan-Jordan said: “Senior leaders in higher education have been enjoying executive-style pay and bonuses over the past few years.

“But support staff in vital roles, who make sure students have a decent university experience, have endured years of real-terms pay cuts.

“Many universities have already made local agreements to resolve the dispute, including making changes to working hours or awarding bonuses. Winchester could do the same, but has so far chosen not to.

“The universities must rethink their inadequate offer again and improve wages.”

UNISON head of education Mike Short said: “Support workers play a crucial role helping students through university, but many can’t support themselves as prices of food and fuel continue to rise.

“Workers are having to leave for better-paid jobs elsewhere leaving millions of students facing a worsening university experience.

“The employers must now come back with a better pay offer or staff will be forced to continue with industrial action.

Notes to editors:
– Details of how the 2023/24 pay award will affect university support staff are available here.
– Picket lines will be in operation at the University of Winchester on the following dates and times. UNISON representatives will be available for photos and comments.

Wednesday 26 July
8am-11am: Sparkford Road SO22 4FB
8am-11am: Romsey Road SO22 5FT (opposite the County Arms pub)

Thursday 27 July
8am-11am: Sparkford Road SO22 4FB
8am-11am: Romsey Road SO22 5FT (opposite the County Arms pub)

– Staff at six other universities across the UK have taken strike action this year as part of the same UNISON dispute.
– UNISON is currently balloting workers at a further 32 Universities across the UK, including Solent University in Southampton, The University of Brighton, and the University of Chichester. The ballots close on 31 July.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.