Unite says ‘measly’ 1% pay offer to non-academic staff is an ‘insult’

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Unite members working at Queens University in Belfast are demonstrating outside the university this morning in a dispute over low pay offers.

It comes as the Queen is due to begin a two-day visit to Northern Ireland as part of the Jubilee celebrations.

Unite says the current offer of a 1% increase is ‘an insult’ to the hard working staff and Unite members argue that the amount does not even match the RPI (retail prices index) which is currently running at 3.1% for May 2012.

Unite members also argue that university bosses have already paid themselves more than the 1% they have been offered.

Queens University’s ruling body, the University Senate, awarded senior academic staff on average over treble the amount it paid to non-academic staff last year.

Unite says this is unacceptable.

Mike Robinson, Unite national officer said: “Over the last four years, staff at Queens University have received measly pay increases of 0.5%, 0.4%, 0.5% and this year’s offer of 1% is frankly an insult to the hardworking staff at the university.

“By making these low increases university bosses are applying a real terms pay cut, as inflation over the same period has gone up by nearly 15 per cent, our members’ wages have gone down.

“At the same time, university bosses have been awarding themselves higher increases than ordinary workers. It seems to be one rule for them and another for hard pressed staff. The whole thing stinks and we will be recommending staff reject this paltry offer.”

Unite demonstrators will be joined at the Queens University protest by other trade unions and the local student union which are also supporting the demonstration.


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