Around 1,000 workers at four Scots universities begin strike over pay

Staff including technicians, cleaners, security officers, and janitors will strike from September 13 to 15 and September 18 to 19.

Around 1,000 workers at four Scottish universities have walked-out in a dispute over pay on Wednesday.

It is the first of five days of action planned over the course of two weeks involving staff at the universities of Glasgow, Dundee, Abertay and Strathclyde.

The workers include technicians, cleaners, security officers, and janitors who are striking from September 13 to 15 and September 18 to 19.

No date has been announced for Edinburgh Napier where Unite the union also has a mandate for strike action.

Members voted for industrial action after a failure to reach an agreement on the 2023/24 pay award with the University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA).

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Around 1,000 Unite members across four universities and four colleges will take strike action because their employers do not value them enough to make a fair wage offer. Unite will not tolerate the imposition of any pay offers, never mind a real terms pay cut.”

“Any disruption to students will be on the heads of those running the pay bodies, colleges and universities, who incidentally are not suffering any cost-of-living crisis. Unite will fully support our higher and further education members in their fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

Raj Jethwa, UCEA’s chief executive said: “UCEA continues to meet with Unite, UCU and the other sector trade unions to seek urgent resolution.  UCEA has suggested an independent facilitated review of sector finances and the trade unions have stated their agreement. UCEA has suggested a joint approach to Acas for facilitation of these talks and is awaiting the trade unions’ response to this proposal. 

“This year’s pay uplift of 5-8% prioritised the disproportionate effect of high inflation falling on the lower paid. Nearly half of the uplift was delivered six months early to address cost of living pressures. Around half of HE staff on the New JNCHES spine will also be eligible for pay progression, typically worth 3% on top of the base pay uplift. The date of implementation of the remaining portion of the 2023-24 uplift is August 1, 2023.”

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