Support staff at the University of Birmingham have taken industrial action for a second day over pay. The strike called by the Unison union involves around 200 staff including administration workers and librarians.
This coincides with two undergraduate open days, both today (Friday) and on Thursday on the main Edgbaston campus.
Despite the union saying pay for support staff has fallen in real terms every year since 2009, the University said its pay had been above a nationally negotiated rate for the past three years.
The union said that it had been in dispute with the University since December 2011 but this was its first strike on the campus for 30 years.
The regional coordinator for Unison, Dawn Sant, said,
‘Support staff are absolutely vital to keeping the University of Birmingham going. If academics didn’t have their support to help with students, or the management, then the place would simply grind to a halt. Support staff work shifts and work long hours, so it is only right they get the pay they deserve.’
In a statement the University of Birmingham said,
'The University has been notified that a small number of Unison members have voted to take strike action on 21st and 22nd June as part of a dispute over 2011 pay settlement for support staff, which was implemented in March 2012. We are disappointed that Unison has decided to take this action, particularly given that for the last three years our support staff pay awards have been above those negotiated nationally, because we recognise that staff at the lower end of the pay spectrum may be disproportionately affected by increases in the cost of living.
We are working to ensure that our operations will continue as smoothly as possible on strike days and we are confident that the large majority of staff will be working normally to ensure that our students and prospective students are affected as little as possible by the disruption.'