Strikes planned by 1,000 members of the Unite union at five Scottish universities

It is the latest industrial action to hit the higher education sector in Scotland

The Unite trade union has said 1,000 of its members at five Scottish universities are set to walk out in a pay dispute.

The staff are based at Glasgow University, Dundee University, Abertay University, Napier University and Strathclyde University.

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The union members involved in the pay dispute include technicians, cleaners, security officers and janitors.

Edinburgh Napier UniversityEdinburgh Napier University
Edinburgh Napier University

It comes as the University and College Union (UCU) continues a marking and assessment boycott amid a pay row with the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA).

Non-teaching Unite and GMB members have also voted to strike next month in schools, with Unison balloting on industrial action. Unite’s industrial action ballots at the universities were launched over a failure to reach agreement on the 2023/24 pay award.

It is anticipated 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 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 union said the vast majority of Unite members have had a 5 to 6 per cent pay offer imposed on them, following an uplift of 3 per cent for the majority of members in 2022.

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.

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“This year’s pay uplift of 5-8 per cent 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.”



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