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The Independent

Strikes by Royal Mail staff, lecturers and lecturers on identical day

Royal Mail staff, college lecturers and lecturers will go on strike on Thursday as industrial unrest continues to unfold throughout the nation in disputes over pay, jobs and circumstances.

Picket strains will likely be mounted exterior postal supply and sorting workplaces, universities and colleges as unions edge nearer to co-ordinated industrial motion.

It will likely be one of many greatest walkouts of the yr.

Talks have been held between leaders of unions concerned within the disputes with the goal of taking joint motion, corresponding to holding strikes on the identical day.

College employees are taking the largest strike motion within the historical past of upper training

Jo Grady

Round 70,000 members of the University and College Union (UCU) will strike on Thursday and Friday, and once more on November 30, in a dispute over pay, pensions and contracts.

It will likely be the largest strike of its form, affecting an estimated 2.5 million college students, with the union warning of escalated motion within the new yr if the row is just not resolved.

The union says lecturers and different tutorial employees have suffered a decade of under inflation pay rises, with a 3% improve introduced in the summertime.

UCU common secretary Jo Grady stated: “College employees are taking the largest strike motion within the historical past of upper training. They’ve had sufficient of falling pay, pension cuts and gig economic system working circumstances – all while vice-chancellors take pleasure in lottery win salaries and stay it up of their grace and favour mansions.

“Employees are burnt out, however they’re combating again and they’ll carry the entire sector to a standstill.

“Vice-chancellors solely have themselves in charge. Their woeful management has led to the largest vote for strike motion ever in our sector.

“College students are standing with employees as a result of they know this will’t go on, and so they know {that a} sector which generates tens of billions of kilos annually from tuition charges can afford to deal with its employees pretty.

“Additional disruption might be prevented if the considerations of employees are addressed with urgency. However the overpaid vice-chancellors killing our sector needs to be beneath no phantasm – 70,000 devoted college staff are able to take even larger motion within the new yr.”

Chloe Subject, National Union of Students vice chairman for increased training, stated: “College students stand in solidarity with college employees occurring strike.

“We now have at all times been clear that employees working circumstances are college students’ studying circumstances, and for greater than a decade each have come beneath assault from a sector that places earnings above training.”

Members of the Communication Staff Union (CWU) on the Royal Mail may also strike on Thursday and on Black Friday, one of many busiest days of the yr for supply firms.

A sequence of strikes can be deliberate in December, together with Christmas Eve, in one of many longest-running disputes of a yr dominated by stoppages.

Royal Mail says it has made its “greatest and remaining supply” geared toward resolving the dispute, together with “in depth enhancements” made throughout negotiations with the CWU, corresponding to an enhanced pay deal of as much as 9% over 18 months, providing to develop a brand new revenue share scheme for workers, and making voluntary redundancy phrases extra beneficiant.

CWU common secretary Dave Ward stated: “We’re disenchanted that as a substitute of reaching a compromise to keep away from main disruption, Royal Mail have chosen to pursue such an aggressive technique.

“We won’t settle for that 115,000 Royal Mail staff – the individuals who saved us linked throughout the pandemic, and made tens of millions in revenue for bosses and shareholders – take such a devastating blow to their livelihoods.

Make no mistake about it, British postal staff are going through an Armageddon second

Dave Ward

“These proposals spell the tip of Royal Mail as we all know it and its degradation from a nationwide establishment into an unreliable, Uber-style gig economic system firm.

“Make no mistake about it, British postal staff are going through an Armageddon second.

“We urge each member of the general public to face with their postie, and again them like by no means earlier than.”

Members of the Instructional Institute of Scotland (EIS) will stroll out on Thursday within the first nationwide strike over pay for nearly 40 years, with the motion by lecturers anticipated to shut the vast majority of colleges throughout Scotland.

A final-ditch supply made on Tuesday in a bid to avert strike motion would see the bottom paid employees obtain a 6.85% improve, with most getting 5%.

That was rejected by the EIS, and its common secretary Andrea Bradley branded it an “inept rehash” of the supply made earlier this yr.

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