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Lecturers vote to strike over pay.

University lecturers have voted in favour of strike action over pay.

Members of the Association of University Teachers voted in favour of strikes later this month by a two to one majority.

Members of the AUT are likely to co-ordinate their strike with protests planned by the National Union of Students over top-up fees.

The NUS has already decided to stage campus sit-ins and protests over the Government's plans to allow universities to charge pounds 3,000 top-up fees.

The AUT has 47,000 members, including a large number at the North East's five universities, and its ruling executive will decide today whether to call walk-outs in the week beginning February 23.

AUT general secretary Sally Hunt said the strike vote showed lecturers were not happy with pay proposals put forward by university vice-chancellors. She said: "AUT members feel very angry their pay has declined by 40% in comparison to the rest of the workforce and they know full well the employers' current proposals will make matters worse."

A North East AUT spokesman added: "People are so disillusioned after years and years of poor pay."

The AUT vowed to strike in protest at a pay offer worth 6.44% in the 2003-04 and 2004-05 academic years. Lecturers and students will try for a UK-wide campus shutdown on Wednesday February 25.

NLabour's Nick Brown, MP for Newcastle East and Wallsend, who was criticised by students for his late change of heart over tuition fees has pulled out of a talk at Durham University's St Chad's College tonight, claiming the event was a "stunt". Students had planed to protest.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 13, 2004
Words:267
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