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Middlesex University staff strike over pay
Middlesex University staff joined a day of national strike action over pay.
More than 40 members of staff held a picket line outside the university in The Burroughs, Hendon, as part of a strike organised by the University and College Union (UCU), UNISON and Unite trade unions.
Many teachers and lecturers are upset after being offered a pay rise of one per cent this year.
Middlesex UCU branch executive Sue Mew, a principal lecturer in sociology at the university, said: “We’re taking action for fairer pay. UCU and academic staff at the universities have seen their pay fall in real terms by 13 per cent over just five years.
“Staff are saying enough is enough. Strike action is our last resort - staff are feeling demoralised and exasperated.”
Ms Mew fears the situation is so bad that people will begin to opt out of a career in higher education.
She said: “I have been in this profession for 24 years. At the time when I started, pay levels for academic staff were not far adrift from comparable professions. Now I think academic staff are looking sideways at their friends in other professions and seeing that they are earning a lot more.”
The university has remained open despite today's strike. A Middlesex University spokesman said: “During today’s national strike the university will remain open and we are working to provide a normal service where possible.”
The Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), which represents universities as employers, disapproves of the strike action and says today’s strike is having “minimal impact" on students.
A UCEA spokesperson said: “We are all disappointed that, after six months of extended talks and what we believe is a fair pay offer, these trade unions remain on a path to cause disruption.
“Higher education employers value their staff and provide a good reward package to attract and retain outstanding staff.
"Pay in higher education is keeping pace with comparable sectors and institutions are not experiencing recruitment or retention problems.”
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