University staff and students in Yorkshire joined forces during Thursday’s strike to make a stand for fair pay for staff.
Union members took to the picket lines outside the University of Bradford on Great Horton Road.
UCU local association president Dave Ewen said that many academics were working 50-hour weeks and with students paying £9,000 in fees they “quite rightly expect excellent standards and academics are trying their best to give them that but morale is suffering due to excessive workloads and stress levels are increasing.”
He said: “The last thing we want to do is strike. This is a last resort. We just want fair pay for a fair day’s work.”
Unite branch secretary Graham Pearson said: “We have members who are not on a high wage and many who are on less than the living standard. The fact that they have lost in the region of 13 per cent in pay has a serious impact. Staff are being forced to take on more responsibility for less pay, which is effectively devaluing jobs.”
And a number of students came out in solidarity with staff — despite right-wing claims that the strike would have a negative impact on their learning.
NUS disabled student officer Luke Hoggarth said: “We have an agreement with the TUC that we will support each other and there is a national commitment to work hand in hand. If staff suffer in terms of pay or bullying, it affects us all.”
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