Sheffield lecturers vote to strike

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Lecturers at both Sheffield universities are gearing up for strike action in a row over pay.

In a national ballot held by union UCU, over three-fifths of those voting backed strikes while 77 per cent backed alternative action such as a ban on unpaid overtime.

University staff have been offered a one per cent pay rise - with the union saying members have not had a significant increase since 2008.

Since then UCU officials say members have suffered four consecutive years of pay cuts and seen their pay drop by 13 per cent in real terms.

Sheffield Hallam University’s Vice Chancellor, Philip Jones, received a 9.33 per cent rise in his salary for 2010-11.

Mike Henderson, UCU branch secretary at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “The strike ballot by UCU members in Sheffield and nationally across higher education institutions is a response to the employers’ failure to negotiate seriously over a pay increase to reverse the steady reductions in pay over the last few years.

“Academic staff are getting worse off, and an offer of one per cent is a further cut in real terms.”

A Universities and Colleges Employers’ Association spokesman said its pay offer remained on the table.