Southampton University staff pay cut ‘outrageous’
A union has organised a strike ballot over an “outrageous” pay cut for university student support workers.
Unison said the staff at the University of Southampton would lose up to a fifth of their take home pay because of cuts to night-time allowances.
It said the reduction would amount to around £6,000 before tax for the average worker.
The university said the 42 affected staff would receive a “compensatory payment”.
Unison said the staff, who worked permanent evening or night shifts in halls of residence, could not afford cuts to their gross pay of between 18% and 20%.
The union’s regional head of higher education, Mike Wilson, said: “For an employer that pays around £400,000 per year to its vice-chancellor, these imposed pay cuts on hard-working, low-paid staff are an insult.”
He said the university had deemed the workers “too expensive”, even though it had recently made £300m from a bond issue on the London Stock Exchange.
In a statement, the university said the allowances were “out-of-line” with its other staff who worked unsociable hours.
It said it was creating a new student support team “moving to halls-based pastoral care… 24 hours a day, seven days a week – with a great emphasis on proactive and preventative work”.
The strike ballot will close on 7 June.