Up to 240 Union members at University of Northampton to strike next week

Picket outside Northampton University Park Campus over pension cuts in May 2012.
Picket outside Northampton University Park Campus over pension cuts in May 2012.

Staff at the University of Northampton who belong to the University and College Union (UCU) will be “withdrawing their labour” next week, it has been announced.

The industrial action -as part of a national dispute between UCU and UCEA, the organisation that negotiates on behalf of their employers -

will take place on May 25 and 26 and picket lines will be in place.

A spokesman for the union said: “The dispute is about the gender pay gap, which nationally stands at nearly 13 per cent but locally is more than 15 per cent.

“It also about the increased use of casual labour, which has a hugely negative effect on the quality of the student experience.

“And it is also about a pay offer of 1.1 per cent which, when measured against the RPI, 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,” he added.

Picket lines will be at Avenue Campus on 25 May and Park Campus on 26 May from 8am until 11am.

Deborah Mattock, director of HR at the University of Northampton, said the uni stood by the offer of a 1.1 per cent pay uplift and added that staff get other benefits.

She said: “We respectfully draw attention to the fact that University of Northampton employees continue to enjoy annual increments separate from the pay claim.

“Staff benefit 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, flexible working, supported by continuous professional development opportunities.”

The decision to take strike action will result in up to 243 of the university’s 892 academics being able to join the picket line.

Mrs Mattock said: “The University of Northampton will be very much open for business as usual during this two-day strike.”