Joining picket lines at Heriot Watt & QMU
Alison Johnstone and Andy Wightman, Scottish Green MSPs for Lothian, today (25 May) showed their support for university staff taking industrial action by joining picket lines at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh and Queen Margaret University in Musselburgh.
Members of the University & College Union (UCU) are staging a two-day walk-out in protest at a pay offer of 1.1 per cent from employer body UCEA, which UCU has described as 'an insult'.
“The difference in pay between frontline staff and senior management in our universities is unacceptable. What UCU members are asking for is perfectly reasonable. On the picket line at Heriot Watt I spoke with staff who have serious responsibilities yet their pay has suffered real terms cuts. We must see fair pay in higher education, which plays such an important role in the city of Edinburgh and affects the life chances of our young people."
"Queen Margaret University at Musselburgh has an important role in providing access to education in Lothian region, and its staff deserve decent treatment. I was pleased to join the UCU picket line at QMU and talk with staff about their ongoing struggle for fair pay. I hope employers rethink their offer and I urge the new Scottish Education Secretary to make support for higher education staff a higher priority.
"I’m especially concerned to learn that across Scotland, casualisation and zero hours contracts have increased in many universities with some staff working multiple short-term contracts simultaneously to make ends meet. Educators deserve better treatment.”