From education to employment

University staff to strike over pay as new term begins, says UNISON

Thousands of university staff including administrators, cleaners, library, security and catering employees are to walk out in a wave of strikes that will hit universities from today (Tuesday), says UNISON. 

Universities will be disrupted across England and Scotland as employees push for a fair pay rise that takes account of soaring cost of living pressures and years of below-inflation awards, says the union. 

The workers, among the lowest paid in the higher education sector, took the difficult decision to strike after rejecting a 3% pay award from the University and Colleges Employers Association in May, the union says. 

Staff are asking for a wage increase of 2% above inflation– the lowest measure is currently 9.8%.

Universities in Aberdeen, Brighton, Bristol, Edinburgh Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Winchester are affected, says UNISON.

UNISON head of education Mike Short said:

“Staff have reached breaking point and have little choice but to strike.

“For years they’ve watched wages slip further behind living costs. Now huge price increases threaten to push many over the edge. 

“Staff want to work in higher education. But if their highly paid university bosses don’t award them a fair pay increase, many are likely to head off for better paid jobs in other parts of the economy.”

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