As day three sets in of protests outside Bournemouth University, the UCU strike over staff pensions and pay is well under way.
The University Executive Team has not engaged with staff or students at Bournemouth yet, over the issues that institutions, nationally, are proactively taking a stand against- with walk outs and picket lines that are set to last for another week.
However, the University’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Vinney, along with BU’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Jim Andrews have been formally invited to visit the Poole Gateway picket line at 10am today [Wednesday November 27th] to discuss the motivations of the strike that has been going on since Monday.
The union plan to speak to the Vice Chancellor about equality at BU, specifically focusing on race and the gender pay gap.
While the university plans to open the new £38M Poole Gateway Building in January, female academics at BU and across the sector make 15% less than their male counterparts for doing the same job and also have a difficult time getting promoted.
These figures come as well as those that show BAME women to be making 9% less than their white counterparts across the sector, as well as leaving BU because they cannot progress their careers.
After UCU national negotiations with UCEA yesterday, UCU requested that UCEA encourage Vice Chancellors around the country to talk to their staff about why the strike is happening.
BU UCU are using this opportunity to speak to Prof. Vinney about increasing workloads, as well as raising the issue of staff burn out and staff who are on long-term sick leave.
The Union also launched its local strike fund and its food bank for striking staff this week, recognising that those who are striking are often on the most precarious of contracts at BU, some not even making £10 an hour.
The Student’s Union have been seen to join with the staff members on the picket line this week after a poll found 90% of students to be in favour of the strike.
The four Full Time Officers took to ‘leading from the front’ by joining staff outside the Gateway Building where the striking efforts are being hosted and passing cars are encouraged to toot their horns in solidarity.
Each Officer made a point of reiterating their mandate for standing out with the protesters in the cold and rain, which was that, “Your [staff] working conditions, are our learning conditions.”
You can hear SUBU leaders speak about the strike here