Strikers outside the Jubilee Sports centre and the Student Services Centre.

Strikers outside the Jubilee Sports centre and the Student Services Centre.

For the second time this year staff at the University have walked out on strike over a 1% pay increase.

It follows on from a similar strike in October that was held by the three campus unions, the University and College Union (UCU), Unison and Unite, on the same issue.

Staff feel that the 1% increase is not suitable given the claimed 13% pay cut they’ve experienced since 2008 and given that nationwide pay for University leaders has risen by more that £5000 in 2011/12 with a Vice Chancellors pay and pensions packet reaching almost £250,000. This time, they are joined in their nationwide strikes by the Scottish Union the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS).

Students are advised to still come into University unless they have been notified before hand that their lecture has been cancelled. Students were advised before hand that the Avenue Campus Library will close throughout the day but it has emerged today that the Avenue Language library will also close and the Winchester School of Art library will run to reduced hours. Catering will also be affected with the Piazza, the Lattes in the Library and Life Sciences, the Bus interchange kiosk and the staff club healthy eating service all closed.

Following on from a vote in Union Council last night, SUSU will on this occasion not support the strike as council felt that it would have too severe an effect on the students.

On the Highfield campus, strikers manned pickets primarily outside the Student Services Centre, the Jubilee Sports Centre, near to the Redbrick area as well as at smaller sites outside the Hartley Library, EEE building and the Nightingale building. They are making their voice heard though chants, vuvuzelas and air horns making them heard across the campus and beyond. A few strikers have been wearing christmas hats while chanting phrases such as “Yo ho ho, we’ve got no dough.” Pickets have also been spotted outside Avenue Campus.

At 12.30pm the strikers moved to the red brick area for a rally that was well attended, despite the cold. During the rally, the strikers collectively booed the student population for not supporting them in the strike and to the groups such as Enactus who were trying to fundraise on the red brick during the rally.

You can read the UCU’s explanation for the strike from their press release yesterday, available here.

You can see SUSUtv’s report on the strike below.


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5 Comments »

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  • Not So Fresh
    avatar

    “During the rally, the strikers collectively booed the student population for not supporting them in the strike and to the groups such as Enactus who were trying to fundraise on the red brick during the rally.”

    Students supported them last time and in return were subjected to near-constant disturbance from horns and shouting near places of learning such as the library.
    And booing Enactus fundraisers? “Enactus Southampton is a University supported initiative aimed at developing real business opportunities for individuals and communities in need.” Really guys?

    Not exactly winning hearts and minds here.

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  • Name
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    I’m not condoning the booing and I wasn’t personally on campus today so don’t rally feel that i can comment on that, but I do find the idea that “Students supported them last time and in return were subjected to near-constant disturbance from horns and shouting near places of learning such as the library.” surely if the students were supporting the lectures they would not be using the library and other learning places because to do so would be to cross the picket and therefore not support the action??

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    UCU member
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    Indeed. The entire point of a strike is to disrupt the actions of the employer, which includes deterring people from coming to work through pickets, noise and other non-violent actions.

    Students who came to the campus on the strike days should know that by crossing the picket line they are 1) not supporting their lecturers and support staff, and 2) entering an industrial dispute. Disruption is to be expected, and indeed is the whole point. Coming to the University as if it were business as usual and crossing a picket line is the precise opposite of supporting the strike, it is undermining it and expressing a stance in favour of the employer. When those same individuals who crossed the picket line then attempt to drown out our rally, of course we find this very upsetting.

    At this University we have 140 staff who make less than the living wage. We have 200 staff on zero-hours contracts who suffer total financial insecurity. More than 2/3 of our researchers are on fixed-term contracts with no prospect for permanency and job security. The average academic works 55 hours per week and has an unbelievable workload. We work hard every single day to provide for the students of this University, and to be treated like this in return is massively disappointing.

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    Hmm
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    I don’t think fundraising for Enactus constitutes crossing the picket line as it isn’t really university work.

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  • Non-participant observer
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    I was there today and in fairness the booing was in response to the fact that Mariah Carey was being blasted over the people trying to make speeches at the rally. Although I think booing wasn’t the most tactful move, I think the strikers were just trying to get them to keep the noise down for the half an hour or so of the picket. The music was turned up in response to the booing anyhow.

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