University staff took industrial action in Huddersfield today as part of a wave of strikes across the country.
Huddersfield members of the University and College Union (UCU) went on strike in an ongoing row over pay rises.
The University claimed measures were taken to reduce the impact of the strike on students, despite most exams having now finished for the year.
Senior lecturer in law and UCU Branch Secretary Jackie Lane was one of the members out on the picket line outside the University campus in Queensgate.
She said: “We’re taking action because we’ve tried to negotiate a pay rise above inflation.
“We’ve been stuck with a one per cent pay rise for a few years. We’re so far behind in pay.
“We were then offered a 1.1 per cent increase, which was insulting.”
The strike began on Wednesday morning after a ballot voted in favour of industrial action, and is expected to last two days.
Jackie added: “There are also concerns over the University’s casual workers who are essentially on a zero-hours contract.
“We want these to be discussed alongside the gender pay gap in universities, which is currently, on average, a six and a half per cent difference nationally.”
A University of Huddersfield spokesperson said: “We are aware that some members of the UCU at the University will take industrial action, so various measures have been put in place in advance to lessen the impact on our students and avoid disruption generally.”
Lecturers are “solidly” supporting a 48-hour strike over pay as picket lines were mounted outside universities across the UK.
Members of the University and College Union (UCU) are also refusing to work overtime, set additional work, or undertake any voluntary duties like covering timetabled classes for absent colleagues.
General secretary Sally Hunt said: “We are getting reports of really solid support from picket lines across the UK.
“It is a disgrace that the employers’ intransigence over pay and conditions for university staff has forced us out on strike. The time has come to reverse the holding down of salaries that has seen staff pay fall by 14.5% in real terms since 2009. We hope universities will now come back to us with a decent offer and we can avoid further disruption.”
If the dispute is not resolved in the coming weeks, members have agreed to further strike action which could affect open days, graduation ceremonies and the clearing process.