Welsh Government urged to get lecturers’ strike settled

Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd has welcomed reassurances by the cabinet secretary for education that she wants to see the university lecturers’ strike resolved.

Mr Gruffydd, who is shadow secretary for education, raised the matter during questions this afternoon (Wednesday) to Kirsty Williams in the Senedd, where he challenged the Welsh Government to be more pro-active in dealing with current university lecturers’ strike over pensions. Mr Gruffydd spoke at a mass rally in support of university lecturers in Bangor on Monday and raised concerns about the impact this dispute was having on staff morale as well as student learning.

He said: “The attack on pensions by universities is having a negative effect on students and staff alike. I want the Welsh Government to be more active in trying to find a solution and resolve this strike. That’s why I asked the cabinet secretary what representations she had made to the UK Government.

“I accept she has no direct control over this particular issue as the universities are individual employers but they receive funding from the Welsh Government. Recent exposes of senior university staff claiming £8 million in expenses put the whole pensions issue into a wider context and we should be doing all we can to halt this direct attack on working conditions.

“I was glad to hear the cabinet secretary say that she expected restraint from senior management and that there was a social justice issue where the lowest-paid staff should be treated fairly. I will continue to press the case for the lecturers to receive a fair pension rather than being denied by employers. Pensions are deferred wages and employers should not be able to avoid their responsibilities.”

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