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29/07/2021

Durkan supports UCU strike action

Derry councillor urges backing for university staff

Mary Durkan

Cllr Mary Durkan... supporting the UCU strike action.

University management is being called on to resolve the staff issues in dispute.

The call comes for SDLP Derry Councillor Mary Durkan who is urging the public to support university workers as they enter their final phase of staggered strike action this week, organised by the University and College Union (UCU).

Cllr Durkan said:  “We stand in solidarity with all university workers on strike at Ulster University, Queen’s University and elsewhere.

“University lecturers are enduring the stresses of significant de facto pay cuts with a simultaneous expansion in workload.

“Better working conditions for staff equates with better learning conditions and an all-round better university experience. If we are to truly value the role of universities, then the devaluation of staff must be properly addressed.

“The issues in dispute are all adversely impacting on our quality of higher education: devaluation in pay, gender pay gap, an increase in casual contracts, unsustainable workloads and changes to staff pensions.”

Cllr Durkan concluded: “Let’s hope that negotiations between management and UCU are productive so that resolution to these issues can be found soon.”

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