Sioned Williams, Plaid Cymru Member of Senedd for South Wales West, has expressed her support for University and College Union (UCU) members who are on strike. Staff at 68 universities across the UK, including at Swansea University and the Open University in Wales, have taken to the picket lines to demand fair pay and pensions.
Sioned on the picket line at Swansea University
Sioned Williams said:
“On Monday 14th February I joined with staff at Swansea who, along with staff at 68 universities to demand fair pay and pensions for our hard-working staff in the higher education sector.
“I know from my own experience, the conversations I’ve had and the numerous emails I’ve received that these staff members are passionate and dedicated people, committed to their work, their students and their university. They did not want to be out on strike.
“But in the face of pay awards being outstripped by inflation, precarious contracts, unsafe workloads, detrimental changes to pension schemes and continued race and gender inequalities, they feel they have a duty to speak out and take action. I fully support them and will be writing, along with my colleague Luke Fletcher, to the Vice Chancellor of Swansea University on this matter.
“At a time when so many are facing a cost of living crisis and the enormous strain that is bringing, we should be looking to supporting more secure, better paid and fairer employment practices in every sector, including the higher education sector. We cannot level up while many are being grinded down.”