Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Power to our staff

Why staff and students came together to strike on October 31, 2013.


Strike day was incredible: the spirit of solidarity, the excitement, the chanting, the feeling that the staff can win their pay dispute. Some, though, were critical of the staff’s decision to strike, labelling it “disruptive” and an “inconvenience”.

Higher Education staff have had their pay slashed 13% in real terms in the last five years. This, in the words of Will Hutton of The Observer, is “the most sustained cut in wages suffered by any profession since the Second World War.” Union Unison estimates that this has cost individual members of staff between £600 and £1,200 a year.

But the strike was not solely about pay. Higher Education is now second only to catering as the sector which employs the most casualised workers. This is largely a result of universities focusing on research over teaching because it is more profitable – itself symptomatic of the wider issue of the marketisation of education.

Ultimately, even the Government’s economic case fails. The Tory-led coalition pontificates about the need for austerity, the need to “live within our means”. There is a budget surplus of £1 billion in the education sector, enough to fund a pay-rise well above inflation for every member of staff. Further, we are not “all in this together”, most principals are on salaries of over £240,000.

Another facet of the dispute is the gender pay gap, which in Higher Education stands at 16.5% – above average. The average pay of a full-time male employee is £19.80 an hour, compared to £16.53 for a full-time female employee.

We need a serious discussion about the funding of higher education, a discussion that this fiercely ideological Government seeks to avoid.

After all, this is the same fight as the one fought against the increase in tuition fees. It is a fight for the very idea of a publicly funded education system. And it is a fight that, if we stand together, we can win.


Wisteria on a white wall with a window


Staff Writer Charlotte Galea takes a look at the new season of the famed Netflix show and concludes that giving up on historical accuracy...

Protesters in favour of Ali as KCLSU president on Strand campus Protesters in favour of Ali as KCLSU president on Strand campus

KCLSU & Societies

Advait Joshi, who received the second most votes in the King’s College London Student Union (KCLSU) March elections, has refused to assume the office...


Staff writer Douglas Gibb scrutinizes the First-Past-The-Post system and its impact on true representative democracy in the wake of the recent UK elections. On...


Sports Editor Sam Lord reviews the defining moments and controversies from Euro 2024 in Germany. As English and Spanish fans return home from the...

A photo that shows the council chamber in Glasgow. A photo that shows the council chamber in Glasgow.


Staff Writer Grace Holloway reflects on the past few years of Scottish politics, and using the recent general election in the UK, offers some...


King’s College London (KCL) has risen by two places to #46 in the world in the 2023 Times Higher Education ‘World Reputation Rankings’. The...


From Sunday 7 to Friday 12 January 2024, the Transport for London (TfL) network will be running a reduced service due to strike action....


King’s College London (KCL) has placed fourth on the English Social Mobility Index, according to London South Bank University (LBSU) and the Higher Education...

KCLSU & Societies

Editor-in-Chief Fintan Hogan discusses the decline of King’s College London (KCL) compared to its city peers. “King’s is ranked in the top 10 UK...