Why UK Varsities, Colleges Embarked On Strike — UCU president
The salary gap between teachers in schools and colleges now remains at almost £9,000 since 2009. Pay in higher education has also lagged behind inflation by 35% since 2009.
On Monday, a few Lewisham College employees in the UK staged a protest and shut down the school to voice their unhappiness with the low wages in the industry.
According to the instructors, their capacity to get rewarded has affected their daily lives, hurting their mental and emotional health.
Georgi Bochevski, one of the teachers, said, “When you can’t pay the rent, your transport, you have to find the solution to start doing any extra work. And if you don’t have time for extra work, then you can take credit cards or overdrafts. And when you can’t meet these basic needs, you start to struggle mentally.”
According to the University and College Union, they have only been promised a 2.5% raise. However, with the current rate of inflation slightly over 2%, the offer is insufficient.
Another instructor, Portia Tertullian, expressed concern over how long the predicament may last without a resolution.
The University and College Union’s president claims that their minimum salary requirement is 10% and that they would not settle for anything less. “Our pay claim is at 10% and we, we won’t settle for less than 10%,” she said “…we’ve lost 35% of our pay since 2009.” she added
During the demonstration, some students could also be seen standing beside their professors with their utmost support.
In particular, a student, Millicent Zwane, said, “I support it 100% because it is not fair on the teachers. Because I came this morning to study and I found out there is a strike because they are not being paid enough.”