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Middlesex University to remain open during higher education strike
Middlesex University has announced it will remain open even if staff decide to walk out in next week’s national strike over pay.
The University and College Union (UCU), UNISON and Unite trade unions have organised strike action for members working in higher education on Thursday, October 31.
Many teachers and lecturers are upset after being offered a pay rise of one per cent this year.
Jon Richards, Unison’s head of higher education, said: “Our members are upset and angry – this measly one per cent offer is simply not good enough. The work of support staff is essential for the smooth running of universities and they play a vital role supporting students, but many are struggling to survive on low pay.
“The gap between prices and pay has widened since this government came to power and trying to feed a family and heat a home is a daily worry.
“The fact that staff are willing to take strike action shows how desperate they feel. The employers should take note and come back with a more realistic offer.”
Middlesex Unversity has said it is "likely" many of its lecturers and administrative staff who are members of the unions will take part in the strike.
However, a spokesman for the university said: “If the national day of strike action goes ahead the University will remain open and our priority will be to provide a normal service where possible.”
The Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), which represents universities as employers, has disapproved of the planned strike action.
A UCEA spokeman said: “Behind the campaign headlines, our trade unions know that pay increases to higher education staff on the pay spine will mean that salary costs in most higher education institutions will actually rise by around three per cent this year.
"This will comprise one per cent for all alongside often overlooked generous incremental increases and contribution pay for many, adding an additional two per cent to pay bills.
“Any industrial action is naturally disappointing but with less than five per cent of staff choosing to support this strike most institutions have informed us that they anticipate minimal disruption.”
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