Support staff to strike at 17 universities this week over pay

Coordinated action in England over ongoing dispute

Support staff at 17 universities in England* are striking today and tomorrow in an ongoing dispute about pay, says UNISON today (Monday).

Cleaners, IT technicians, administrators and library staff will be among those walking out in coordinated action aimed at disrupting the start of the new academic year, says the union.

Staff rejected a below-inflation pay deal in February and voted to strike. They are yet to receive a better offer and say they have little alternative but to take industrial action.

More than 5,000 staff are expected to walk out over the two days, as the pay row escalates. There are also demonstrations and rallies taking place across the country.

UNISON head of education Mike Short said: “University staff are still waiting for a decent pay offer from universities and now have little option but to escalate their action.

“Support staff play a crucial role in helping students through university, but they’ve endured years of real-terms pay cuts. Bills and other costs continue to rise and some staff are leaving the sector for better-paid jobs elsewhere.

“Universities need to make staff a serious offer to resolve the dispute and avoid further disruption.”

Notes to editors:
– *The following universities will see strike action this week: Arts University Bournemouth; University of Bedfordshire; University of Brighton; City, University of London; University of Chichester; University of Gloucestershire; University of Leeds; Leeds Trinity University; University of Liverpool; Liverpool Hope University; Manchester Metropolitan University; Plymouth Marjon University; SOAS, University of London; Solent University; University of Sussex; University of the West of England and University of Winchester.
– The Universities and Colleges Employers’ Association made a pay offer for 2023/24 in January, with increases of 5-8% depending on individual workers’ salaries. This was then given to staff, with the first payments made from February. When put to UNISON members, 82% voted to reject this pay rise.

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