Higher education staff to stage third wave of strikes over pay

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Higher education workers are walking out over the coming days in a third wave of strikes over pay.

The Unison union said some of the lowest paid in the university sector, including administrators, cleaners, library, security and catering staff, are among those taking industrial action.

Universities including those in Edinburgh, Brighton, Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester will be affected.

For most of the 17 institutions affected, it is the third wave of industrial action this academic year. Strikes have already taken place in September, October and November.

The ​dispute is over a 3% pay offer made last May which was rejected by university support staff but paid to most of them in August.

This ranges from 5% to 8% depending on the worker’s salary.

The union’s pay claim for 2023/2024 is for a flat-rate rise of £4,000 – or an increase that matches the highest measure of inflation plus 2%.

Unison’s head of education, Mike Short, said: “University workers don’t want to keep going on strike, but they’ve been left massively out of pocket and have no other option.

“Year upon year of below-inflation pay rises and soaring costs mean employees are leaving the sector for better wages elsewhere.

“Not only are staff struggling but students feel the effects when universities are short-staffed.

“These strikes could be averted if university employers did the decent thing and came back with a fair offer.”

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