Lecturers strike over pay
200 Association of University Teachers (AUT) members turned up to a protest rally at the Department of Education offices in Belfast during the second of two one-day strikes at the end of February.
The strikes were solid with almost all lecturers in Northern Ireland's universities taking part.
Throughout Britain there is also a determined mood, as lecturers have come behind the AUT in this action. At the rally it was reported that 1,000 lecturers, who had not been union members, joined in the two weeks leading up to the strikes.
The key issue is pay. Management is introducing changes to the incremental pay structure which over all represent a pay cut. They also want to end national bargaining which, for AUT members in Northern Ireland, would mean that already low salaries would be held down even more. Clearly there is a need to escalate the action beyond the non co-operation with marking and setting exams which is now being introduced.