A striking lecturer at the University for Creative Arts in Farnham has said those working in the university sector have suffered a 25 per cent real-terms pay cut since 2009.
UCA lecturers formed a picket line outside the university entrance on Friday, November 25 – joined by staff from across all UCA departments and some students.
The university walkout over pay and working conditions was part of wider industrial action at 150 universities across the country which will affect an estimated 2.5 million students.
Dr James Trafford, a reader in philosophy and design, said one of the primary reasons for the strikes “is that pay across the sector has gone down in real terms around 25 per cent since 2009”.
He said the increased workload and decreased student services has led to “antagonism between staff and management”, a situation he called “unnecessary”.
However, when asked how the university was handling the strikes, Dr Trafford said it as “engaging” with the those on strike and that “there’s a realisation something needs to be done” as “we are all interested in making sure our students get a great education”.
The UCA strike coincided with a walkout by Royal Mail posties on the opposite side of Lower Hart car park.
“We are all feeling the burn,” Dr Trafford continued, “and it’s really necessary for the universities, the postal service and the government to take heed of what is going on.”
A university spokesperson said: “At UCA, we have worked with trade unions to deliver a whole range of improvements that make our university a better place to work and study.
“We know the rising cost of living is impacting many people in our university community and we are committed to finding a long-term solution that will enable us to focus on what we do best – delivering a great student experience.”