Unison members working in catering, cleaning and security held a well-supported one-day strike at the University of Birmingham on 28 June. They were protesting against the removal of premium payments for weekend and anti-social hours and reduction of holiday entitlement by a week.
They also expect some staff to commence collecting work materials in their own time instead of the university’s as is currently the case. In addition, they refuse to become a Living Wage employer unlike many other universities.
There were well attended and lively picket lines at several entrances and a mood of defiance over the university’s intentions. The vice chancellor, who is currently on a basic salary of £447,000 a year plus an £80,000 bonus and other perks, has demanded a real terms pay cut for his lowest paid workers.