Renata Medeiros Mirra, chair Cardiff UCU

We are striking because our pay has lost value every year for over ten years; our pensions are seriously under threat; we have unmanageable workloads which lead many people to illness and desperation; our workforce is largely casualised; and there are still significant pay inequalities between different groups of workers across the sector. All of this creates a working environment that is unhealthy for staff and students, and where it is impossible for the sector to adequately fulfill its societal roles in research and education.

We are joining forces with workers from other sectors because these attacks on our working conditions are shared across the whole working class. Each time workers’ pay loses value, it means more money is moving from the workers’ hands and into the hands of the big bosses, whose already large fortunes have increased vastly in the last couple years. It is hard to understand why any of us should or would just accept this!

We need even more coordination, we need to stand firm and bring the country to a halt if needed. There is no turning back, almost every public service is reaching breaking point. Unless we fight for better, services will only get worse for us and those we serve.