UCU members were out in force on picket lines at universities across Wales in the first day of UK-wide two-day strike action against a paltry 1.1% pay offer from university employers.
“Comrades, this strike is all about respect” declared the branch president at the UCU on the Cardiff University picket line rally. Vice chancellors are receiving four times the wages of lecturers and universities are investing huge amounts in facilities and buildings. “But what do students remember about university years later – is it how modern the buildings were or the experience and support that lecturers provided?”
Lecturers have experienced an average fall in real wages of 14% in the last six years while university vice chancellors’ salaries have gone through the roof.
In Cardiff University the vice chancellor is paid £270,000 a year and lavished with perks, expenses and first class travel while many lecturers who actually deliver education to students have to get by on part time contracts.
Strikers from the National Museum of Wales joined the picket line to show solidarity along with members of Cardiff Trades Council.
UCU members will be taking action on Thursday as well, followed by work-to-contract action and further days of action until a decent pay offer is forthcoming. Other unions are invited to support their picket line.