University staff in Scotland including cleaners, administrators, library, catering and security workers have voted to strike in a dispute over pay.
Workers who are members of trade union Unison, are set to walk out after rejecting a 3% pay award from the University and Colleges Employers Association in May.
Staff had demanded a pay increase 2% above the rate of inflation.
The union says that as inflation soars, topping 10% with further increases on the way, the offer on the table effectively represents a pay cut.
Unison added that “the increase won’t touch the sides of the cost-of-living pressures decimating household budgets”.
Four Scottish universities will be affected by the strike action – Edinburgh Napier University, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Glasgow and Robert Gordon University – as well as 17 institutions in England and one in Northern Ireland.
Unison’s head of education Mike Short said: “Low pay has been a massive problem for the university sector for over a decade. Staff have become expert at stretching their pay to make ends meet. But the shock of the cost-of-living crisis has pushed many to breaking point.
“It’s always a very difficult decision to strike but staff feel they’ve been left with no choice. A 3% pay award is nowhere near enough and the employers know it. This ludicrously low increase does nothing to ease the financial pressures for thousands of struggling staff.
“Managers must put people before profits and pay staff proper, fair wages. If they don’t, employees will vote with their feet and leave universities for better paid, less stressful jobs.”