Plymouth Marjon University workers continue strike action

“Those taking strike action this week are doing so for a better university. They’re taking a stand for staff and students.”

UNISON members on the picket line at Plymouth Marjon University.

Plymouth Marjon University workers, including maintenance staff, IT technicians, administrators, and library staff, will take a further day of strike action over pay, says UNISON today (Tuesday).

The staff, who belong to UNISON, will walk out today (Tuesday 30 January) as they escalate their demand for fair pay.

University workers rejected a pay offer for 2023/24 worth between 5% and 8%, but well below the rate of inflation at the time.

In a strike ballot that ended in July, the staff voted to continue striking unless their employers returned to negotiations with a fair offer. The university has failed to do so and has yet to fully implement the below-inflation pay rise that should have been paid to staff in August, says UNISON.

Debra, a student adviser at the university, said: “I want to be paid fairly for my knowledge and experience. I should feel valued and appreciated for my work.”

Alison, accommodation manager at Marjon, said: “I’ve been working in my role for the past 31 years. I expected to struggle at the start of my career, but I’ll end the coming month in a deficit.

“I’ve been struggling to break even for some time, but with living costs increasing I’m now at a point where my outgoings are starting to exceed my income. I never expected to be in this position at this point in my life.”

UNISON South West head of higher education Chris Roche said: “Support staff play a crucial role in helping students learn and develop at university. But for years the value of their pay has fallen below the cost of living.

“The university has the money to pay staff fairly. Some support staff have already left the university sector for better-paid jobs elsewhere and that threatens the quality of the experience students receive.

“Those taking strike action this week are doing so for a better university. They’re taking a stand for staff and students.

“It’s time the vice chancellor did the right thing, by agreeing a fair pay rise for staff now.”