The Union of Students in Ireland supports the recent decision by members of the University and College Union (UCU) in the UK and Northern Ireland to strike if necessary, as part of actions on pay and working conditions.

Just over 80 per cent of members who voted chose to give the go ahead for strike action.

As part of the UCU Rising campaign, the union is demanding a pay increase of 12 per cent or the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus two per cent, on all pay points, to keep up with the cost of living and to catch up with pay lost over previous years.

The UCU Rising campaign is also seeking to address the casualisation of work in the sector, the devaluation of pensions, and to force action by employers who are failing to take effective action to tackle the persistent gender and ethnicity pay gaps that exist in the higher education sector.

The cost-of-living crisis is impacting many working in the higher education sector and wages have fallen significantly in real terms when compared to the rate of inflation over the past decade.

USI supports this action, as the working conditions in colleges and universities are the learning conditions for our members in Northern Ireland, and we also support it in solidarity with students and staff in the rest of the UK.

USI sends solidarity to UCU members and will support any industrial action they are forced to take.