Scottish university and college workers strike set to disrupt new academic term
- Tuesday 29 August 2023
1,000 Unite members set to walk-out for five days
Unite the union has today (29 August) confirmed that around 1,000 members employed in four universities and four colleges across Scotland are set to take strike action during the first weeks of the new academic term.
The trade union recently confirmed it received industrial action mandates from its members at the University of Glasgow, Dundee University, Abertay University, Edinburgh Napier University and Strathclyde University.
There will be five days of action over the course of two weeks involving staff at four universities, which are as follows: 13-15 September and 18-19 September. No date, as yet, has been announced for Edinburgh Napier, where Unite also has a mandate for strike action. Unite’s members involved in the pay dispute include technicians, cleaners, security officers, and janitors.
The vast majority of Unite members have had a 5-6 per cent pay offer imposed on them. The pay imposition follows a derisory uplift of 3 per cent for the majority of members in 2022. The current dispute is part of a UK wide higher education pay dispute.
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.”
Unite can further reveal that around 100 members across four colleges are also set to walk out in a separate dispute over pay. Workers in Ayrshire College, Dumfries and Galloway College, West College Scotland, and New College Lanarkshire will all take strike action on 7 September. There will then be further days of strike action varying across the colleges (see notes to editor). The dispute centres on a real terms pay cut offered by the pay body - College Employers Scotland, and the potential threat of compulsory redundancies.
Unite regional officer Alison Maclean said: “Students and staff have endured too much disruption to their learning and working experience over the last few years due to Covid. The imminent disruption to universities and colleges across Scotland during the first few weeks of the new academic term is deeply disappointing. However, our members have been left with no other choice but to take a stand. We would encourage those who control the purse strings to make improved wage offers before any action takes place.”
Notes to Editor
Strike action commencing at 00.00hrs – 23.59hrs please. As follows:
Ayrshire College 00.00hrs-23.59hrs on 7th September and 19th September.
Dumfries & Galloway College 00.00hrs – 23.59hrs on 7th September and 21st September.
West College Scotland 00.00-23.59hrs on 7th September and 18th September.
New College Lanarkshire 00.00-23.59hrs on 7th September and 11th September.