University strikes hit London, Leeds, Essex, Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Belfast 

Hundreds of members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, will begin strike action over pay at 10 universities across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland this week.

The workers rejected an imposed pay deal set by the University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) that amounts to three per cent for most staff. With the real rate of inflation, RPI, at 14.2 per cent, this is a significant real terms pay cut.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members are struggling with rocketing living costs and so cannot accept this pay cut disguised supposedly as a pay rise. The universities and the UCEA know they can afford to put forward a better offer than the one that has been imposed and that is what they must do. 

"Our members’ jobs, pay and conditions are this union’s top priority, and we will be supporting our higher education members every step of the way.”

More than 1,500 workers at the Glasgow School of Art, and Glasgow, Dundee, Napier, Strathclyde, Royal Holloway, Leeds, Essex, Queen’s Belfast and Ulster universities will begin strike action this week (see notes to editors for dates). The workers include cleaners, janitors, estates staff and technicians.

The strikes are being coordinated with strike action being taken by the University College Union and other unions, whose members are also in dispute over the UCEA’s imposed pay deal. 

Unite national officer for higher education, Andy Murray, said: “The strikes will undoubtedly cause disruption to students, but this dispute is entirely of UCEA’s own making. UCEA must significantly increase the pay deal they imposed on our members in August, start listening to the concerns of our members and act swiftly to address the cost of living crisis.” 


Notes to editors:

Leeds University strike dates:  24, 25, 28, 29 and 30 November

Glasgow School of Art strike dates: 24, 25 and 30 November

University of Dundee strike dates: 24, 25, 28, 29, 30 November

Edinburgh Napier University strike dates 23, 24, 25 and 30 November

Royal Holloway strike dates: 24 and 25 November

Glasgow University strike dates: 30 November

Strathclyde University strike dates 30 November and 7 and 15 December

University of Essex strike dates: 30 November

Queen’s University Belfast strike dates: 30 November 

Ulster University strike dates: 30 November 

For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.

Email: [email protected] 

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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.