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Lecturers at 147 universities begin voting on strike action

MORE than 80,000 university and college lecturers at 147 universities and 110 English colleges begin voting today on strike action over pay.

The ballot follows years of frozen salaries and below-inflation pay rises under Tory austerity, while top bosses have received huge salary increases.

The University and College Union (UCU) says pay in further education has fallen by 21 per cent in real terms since 2009, but the Universities and Colleges Employers Association has offered another below-inflation 2 per cent increase this year.

College staff have been hit by a 25 per cent real-terms cut, with Association of Colleges bosses revealing this week that no central government cash has been made available for a rise.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: “Staff working in our colleges and universities have had enough of seeing their wages held down while some principals and vice-chancellors pocket double-digit pay rises and max out expense accounts.”

She said the lecturers had been left with no option but to vote on strike action.

Voting ends on October 19.

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