22 May 2008
Unite members at the University of Ulster have voted to strike as staff face having their pay cut by up to Â£5,000.
Unite the union members overwhelmingly voted in favour of industrial action with 71% voting to take strike action in response to the university’s failure to address serious flaws in a recently implemented Job Evaluation Scheme.
The outcome of the scheme has been ignored by the university with members of staff either having to undertake increased levels of responsibility or have their pay reduced.
Steve Tweed, Unite Regional Officer, says: “The Job Evaluation Scheme was not implemented in a fair and consistent manner which has seen large numbers of our members facing pay cuts of up to Â£5,000. This is at a time when the Vice Chancellor, Professor Richard Barnett, has been awarded a 25% increase in pay.”
Unite has sought to engage with the University over a protracted period of time without success. The Vice Chancellor has refused to meet with Unite or even respond directly to correspondence.
Mr Tweed continued: “It is an unfortunate state of affairs when our members are forced to take industrial action to ensure the pay and grading system is implemented in a fair and transparent manner while the university receives public funding for Rewarding and Developing staff. In this matter it has clearly failed and we would ask that the Minister for Employment and Learning, Sir. Reg Empey, investigates just how that funding has been allocated.”
Unite the union is again seeking an urgent meeting with the Vice Chancellor. If he continues to refuse to meet with union officials, Unite members will have no alternative but to commence a programme of industrial action at all campuses within the University of Ulster.