UNISON members at Birmingham University reject 1.9% pay offer


Cleaners, catering assistants and administrators at the University of Birmingham are today on strike over pay.

The UNISON members, who earn as little as £13,000, have been in formal dispute with the university since December, when they rejected a 1.9% pay rise at a time when the university’s surplus rose from £22.3m to £27m.

They receive only a maximum of six month’s sick pay – compared to the 12 months offered to academic staff  – and the university is ending bank holiday and weekend allowances.

UNISON regional organiser Dawn Sant said: “There are other universities who have paid 2% to their lowest paid, which is moving more towards a living wage for staff.

“The vast majority of universities also pay allowances for evening and weekend working, which isn’t applicable to the majority of the lowest paid members at Birmingham.

“The university also needs to recognise that whether someone is on a band 100, a wage of £13,294, or the salary of the vice chancellor (£419,000), they all have to pay for the same loaf of bread, and bottle of milk; pay their rent, mortgage and ever increasing utility bills.”

“The costs of basic food and childcare are increasing rapidly, and wages are not keeping up. If support workers’ incomes are reduced, this could have a huge impact upon them. Potentially it could make it unaffordable for parents to work.”

* You can support the Birmingham University members by signing an online petition.


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