LECTURERS and students in York have marched through the city centre as part of a row over pay.

The protest march went from Micklegate Bar to St Helen’s Square yesterday, as thousands of lecturers and support staff went on their second national strike over a proposed one per cent pay rise, which they say represents a 13 per cent pay cut in real terms since October 2008.

Among them were staff from York College, the University of York St John, Askham Bryan College and the University of York. Four unions staged the one-day walkout – the University and College Union (UCU), Unison, Unite and the Scottish education union EIS.

John Westmoreland, a lecturer at York College, said: “We have balloted over pay, but really the issue is synonymous with protesting against cuts. If you cut education you are cutting away people’s futures. There’s no ecomomic justification for it. I’m not in education for the money but because I want to help make the world a better place and help students make their own way. If you cut education, you are cutting my ability to do that.”

Mr Westmoreland said some 150 staff at the college were in the union, the majority of which went on strike. About ten per cent of the 700 affected staff at York St John University went on strike. The University of York was unable to say how many staff went on strike.

At Askham Bryan College, ten out of 600 staff went on strike, a spokeswoman said. The dispute centres on a one per cent pay rise offered to university staff.