Lecturers and high-ranking staff at Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University are edging close to strike action after being offered a 1% pay rise.
Sixty-two percent of its members voted for the action in a ballot after staff were offered the raise which they rejected, said the University and College Union (UCU) that represents lecturers and other staff for both leading Oxford-based institutions.
The UCU claims that their staff have not seen their pay rise in line with inflation and allege their salaries have decreased by 13% in real terms over recent years.
Strike action has also been supported by ‘Unison’, a major workers’ union in the UK, and the results of a ballot by another union ‘Unite’ are expected to be revealed on Monday. “We are very pleased that we have a clear mandate for strike action and the majority of people who voted, voted for both strike action and action short of a strike,” a UCU spokesperson said.
“We hope the employers will agree to come back to the table and sit down with us and talk this through. Strike action is always a last resort. The ball is in the employers’ court and we hope they now recognise the anger felt by staff over their miserly pay offer and start working with us to resolve the problem,” he said.
No decision has been made as to when any action is likely to take place. “We have had several years now of falling wages, behind inflation, and it can’t go on. In real terms, our members can’t sustain that,” said Terry Hoad, president of Oxford University’s UCU branch.