Plymouth Marjon University workers vote for more strike action

UNISON members on the picket line in Plymouth.

Plymouth Marjon University workers, including maintenance staff, IT technicians, administrators, and library staff, have voted for further strike action over pay, says UNISON today (Thursday)

In a strike ballot that ended this week, 79% of Plymouth Marjon University staff voted to continue striking unless their employers returned to negotiations with a fair offer.

The current offer from the University and Colleges Employers’ Association (UCEA), a 5-8% pay rise depending on salary spinal point, but this was well below the rate of inflation at the time.

Although some money was backdated to August, Plymouth Marjon University is still yet to fully implement this and it’s still not enough for staff to live on with the ongoing cost of living crisis.

UNISON members will now meet to set new strike dates.

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.

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