University of Birmingham workers begin two-day strike

Hundreds of caterers, cleaners, security guards and other support staff at the University of Birmingham today begin a two-day strike over pay.

The UNISON members voted 79% for action after almost a year of failed negotiations over fair pay, living wage accreditation, closing the gender pay gap, and meaningful negotiations on a joint report of demands written together with the other trade unions on campus.

Senior managers have persistently refused to negotiate with the unions and instead imposed a below inflation pay rise (2%) on the majority of staff. The University has also been sluggish to address the gulf between men and women’s salaries at the institution, with women earning on average less than 20% than their male counterparts, have refused to accredit, and have only been ready to restructure the pay spine if the unions were prepared to agree on worse conditions such as sick pay, overtime pay, and holiday entitlements.

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