Union members at University of Northampton will strike next week

All three hubs depicted from the air looking north west

All three hubs depicted from the air looking north west

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Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at the University of Northampton will be withdrawing their labour on Tuesday.

They have been ‘working to contract’ since May 25 as part of a national dispute with UCEA, the organisation that negotiates on behalf of the employers.

The strike is on the same day as the NUT strike and precedes a joint day of activities in defence of education.

At 10am staff picketing at Park Campus will march to join colleagues at Avenue Campus before processing to a joint NUT and UCU rally at Northampton Working Men’s Club in Sheep Street.

The dispute is about: the gender pay gap, which nationally stands at nearly 13 per cent but locally is over 15 per cent and the increased use of casual labour, which the union claims ‘has a hugely negative effect on the quality of the student experience’.

They are also hugely opposed to the pay offer of 1.1 per cent which. The union claims this would mean academic and academic related staff would be taking a 14.6 per cent pay cut in real terms over the last six years.

Deborah Mattock, director of HR at the University of Northampton, said: “We stand by the offer of a 1.1 per cent pay uplift offered to the union’s negotiating pay and conditions within the Higher Education sector.

“University of Northampton employees continue to enjoy annual increments separate from the pay claim; with staff benefiting from a pay and conditions package which invests in far more than just the salaries of staff; including high quality pension schemes, generous annual leave, sickness and special leave terms and conditions and flexible working, supported by continuous professional development opportunities.”

She said the local UCU branch “has made much of” the reported gender pay gap.

She said: “However, the gender pay gap is not a signifier of unequal pay.

“At the University of Northampton there are no significant pay gaps where work of equal value is being done by staff within the same pay grade.

The University of Northampton Equal Pay Review revealed an All University Staff Gender Pay Gap of 15.03 per cent but this is a result of a concentration of female staff employed in lower grades of the pay scale, not a reflection of pay gaps where work of equal value is being done.”

She added that only 30 members of staff, from an eligible 243 of our 892 academic joined the picket line for two days on 25/26 May.

She said: “The University of Northampton will be very much open for business as usual during this strike action.”