first_imgOxford faces the possibility of severe disruption to teaching at the start of term as university staff vote on whether to take industrial action.The ballot, which began on the 25th September, ends on the 10th October, coinciding with the beginning of term.The University and College Union, which represents the staff at higher education institutions, claims that the action was prompted by four consecutive years of pay cuts, with real wages dropping by 13%, and with just a 1% increase offered.Michael MacNeil, UCU head of higher education, commented: ‘What is very clear is that the employers can afford to pay their staff more than the miserly 1% on the table but they are making a calculated choice not to.   ‘Those in charge are cynically using a more competitive funding environment to justify driving down terms and conditions and pay for the majority of staff. At a time when staff have been under great pressure to improve the student experience and workloads have increased, they have had their pay held down.’If the vote is ‘yes’, action would be taken later in Michaelmas.last_img read more