1,000 members at five universities set to walk-out over real terms pay cut  

Unite the union has today (23 August) confirmed that around 1,000 members employed in five universities across Scotland are set to take strike action.

The trade union confirmed it received industrial action mandates from its members at the University of Glasgow, Dundee University, Abertay University, Edinburgh Napier and Strathclyde University. Unite’s members involved in the pay dispute include technicians, cleaners, security officers, and janitors.

The industrial action ballots were launched over a failure to reach agreement on the 2023/24 pay award. It is anticipated that Unite will release its strike action dates involving the five universities next week.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite has received a mandate for strike action at five universities across Scotland which could see 1,000 members taking strike action in the coming weeks. The UCEA (University and Colleges Employers Association) has not only failed to put a fair wage offer on the table, it is attempting to impose a real terms pay cut on all university workers which is totally unacceptable. Unite will fully support our university members in their fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

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.

There was also a failure to reach agreement on the sub inflation 2022/23 award which resulted in Unite members taking part in strike action last year. 

Unite regional officer Alison Maclean said: “Any disruption caused by strike action will be the sole fault of the UCEA who have left our members with no other option. University workers have been repeatedly undervalued and under-appreciated for years despite keeping universities open for learning during Covid. We will not tolerate wage impositions at any point never mind when the UCEA can clearly afford to pay more. Unite calls on the UCEA to get back to the negotiating table before any strike action because our members and all university students deserve better”.