University strike shuts the Sainsbury Centre, but “minimal disruption” reported elsewhere

The UEA said it suffered minimal disruption because of the strike

The UEA said it suffered minimal disruption because of the strike - Credit: Archant

Today's strike by some university staff is causing 'minimal disruption', apart from the closure of the University of East Anglia's Sainsbury Centre, according Norfolk's two higher education institutions.

The strike, by the University and College Union (UCU), Unison and Unite, centres on a 1pc pay rise offered to university staff – including lecturers, technicians and administration workers – which the unions insist means there has been a 13pc pay cut in real terms since October 2008.

The walkout is affecting 149 universities across the UK, according to the unions, with support services such as catering, cleaning and security hit alongside academic departments.

The three unions have said that between them, there will be tens of thousands of people taking part in the walkout.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: 'Our members in higher education deserve a better standard of living for their hard work and the contribution they make to the success of UK universities.'

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A spokesman for the UEA said: 'This is a national dispute. Some trade union members are taking action today October 31 in relation to concerns over a current pay offer of 1pc.

'The university remains open today. We do not currently know the full impact of action on the university, but at this point it appears to be causing minimal disruption. Campus services and buildings are open and operating as normal, with the exception of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts which has closed due to limited security resources.

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'We continue to do everything that we can to minimise disruption to courses and are ensuring wherever possible that students are not disadvantaged in terms of study outcomes by passing on details of seminar or lecture cancellation.

'However, should we not have information of changes and cancellations today, we apologise now to those who may be affected.'

A spokesman for the Norwich University of the Arts said: 'In response to the 1pc national employers' pay offer, members of UCU and Unison, which include academic, professional services and technical staff at NUA have been asked to take strike action. A university spokesman confirmed today that there has been no disruption and the university is operating as normal.'

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