In an email, seen by the Guardian, one university said that going on strike was a breach of staff’s employment contracts. Although the strike is only set to last for two hours at lunch time, university bosses told academics that they should leave for a whole day, if they wanted to strike. The email said: “If you take two-hour strike action but perform your normal duties during the rest of the day, those services you do provide on the strike day whether in the university, at home or elsewhere, will be voluntary and at your discretion and you will not be paid.”
The University and College Union (UCU) said the universities threatening to dock pay, include: Nottingham Trent University, University of Chester, University of Dundee, Oxford Brookes University, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Leicester, De Montfort University, Staffordshire University, University of Wolverhampton, University of Surrey and Leeds College of Art.
The two hour walk out follows strikes by academics and support staff inOctober and December over a “miserly” 1% pay increase for rank-and-file university staff. UCU says that the pay offer means academics across the UK faced a 13% pay cut in real terms since October 2008.
Meanwhile, vice-chancellors have received wage increases averaging 8.1%, with some now on more than £400,000.