Kingston University faces a day of disruption as lecturers join nationwide strikes over pay, pensions and job security

Strikes: Kingston lecturers plan Penrhyn Road picket


Kingston lecturers will picket Penrhyn Road campus as part of nationwide strikes over pay, pensions and job security.


Students have been advised to check with their lecturers before making a potentially wasted journey to campus.


Kingston’s UCU branch, which represents around a quarter of Kingston’s staff, urged lecturers to minimise the disruption to students as much as possible.


Dr Andrew Higginbottom, UCU Kingston branch representative and politics lecturer, insisted the action was in solidarity with students.


He said: “From 2012 university students face much higher tuition fees.  It looks as if few universities are going to fix fees around £6,000 per year.


“Several universities are planning to charge the maximum of £9,000 or near to that sum.  UCU has campaigned with NUS against higher tuition fees. 


“Opposition to Government spending cuts and austerity measures is growing.  Students and education workers need to work together to resist cuts and privatisation in our universities and colleges.”


The official dispute with the University and Colleges Employers Authority concerns job security, pay and pensions. 


“With our pay and pensions under this degree of attack, UCU members voted in favour of industrial action. Our national union has called on all members to join this one day strike to show the strength of our feelings.”


TJ Esubiyi, KUSU president, said: “As a Students’ Union we are well aware of the negative impacts Government education cuts will have on students, and by extension lecturers.


“It’s important that in these difficult times students and lecturers stand in solidarity to protect education for future generations.”


The acting VC, David Mackintosh, declined to comment on his stance on the dispute, but reiterated the consequences of the action on Staff Space.


He said: “We recognise the right of UCU members to support the call for industrial action, however for all those participating in the strike on 24 March, pay will be withheld at the rate of 1/260 of salary for this day.


“In addition, this day will not count as reckonable service for pension calculations.”


“The University will do everything it can to ensure that disruption to teaching and other University activities is limited on this date.


“Any member of UCU who supports the call for industrial action on 24 March will be asked to self declare that they are taking strike action.”


The picket will take place between 7.30 am to 6.30pm with a rally and speeches at 12:30 pm.


More information on the strikes can be found at http://www.kingstonuniversityucu.org.uk.

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