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University staff in Leeds prepare for further strike action over pay, says UNISON

teacher looking stressed at student

Support staff at both Leeds Trinity University and the University of Leeds will walk out for two days next week in their ongoing dispute about pay, says UNISON today.

Hundreds of workers belonging to the union are expected to take part as they escalate their demand for a fair wage rise after many years of below-inflation increases.

The walkouts on 2 and 3 October coincide with the start of the autumn term and follow industrial action at a number of universities earlier this year.

Staff at the University of Leeds are also taking action on Friday 29 September.

They new dates are part of a wider series of coordinated strikes at 17 universities in England and 4 in Scotland.

Staff voted to reject a pay offer for 2023/24 – worth between 5% and 8% but well below the rate of inflation at the time – in a consultation conducted by UNISON earlier this year. In a union ballot that ended in July, workers at Leeds Trinity University and the University of Leeds backed further strikes.

University workers represented by UNISON include cleaners, IT technicians, administrators, library staff and others supporting student learning.

UNISON Yorkshire and Humberside head of education Leonie Sharp said:

“Support staff play a crucial role helping students through university, but they’ve endured years of real-terms pay cuts.

“Many can’t support themselves as prices of food, fuel and household bills continue to rise. Some are having to leave for better-paid jobs elsewhere and that risks leaving millions of students facing a worsening university experience. Universities must improve wages.”

Leeds Trinity University UNISON rep Laura Shand said:

“As the union supporting some of the campus’ lowest paid staff, it’s evident they are struggling, with some taking on second jobs and others using food banks just to survive.

“To put things in perspective, the real value of staff earnings has fallen by around 25% over 13 years, and a good standard of living is slipping away for many.

“We believe that cleaners, estate staff, IT staff, librarians, student support, engagement officers and others who work tirelessly to make the university a success deserve better.”

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