Strikes in Scottish universities begin today, says UNISON 

More than 1,000 support staff in universities across Scotland are to strike from today (Monday) in a dispute over pay, says UNISON.

UNISON members in four universities – Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Glasgow, University of Dundee and Glasgow School of Art – are taking action over a two-week period.

The union is holding a national strike day on Wednesday (September 20) with a midday rally at the Scottish Parliament.

Rolling strike days will take place between September 18 and 28 across the four universities.

University staff voted to reject a pay offer for 2023/24, worth between 5% and 8%, earlier this year. The union says the offer is below UNISON’s pay claim, below the rate of inflation, and it comes after years of real-terms pay cuts.

Chair of UNISON’s Scottish higher education committee, Allison Buchanan, said: “This is yet another real-terms pay cut for university staff. The employer has imposed an early settlement on members without reaching agreement with the union. University staff play a crucial role in supporting students through university and they deserve better.

“UNISON has appealed to the Scottish government to help find a solution. The minister seems willing to allow the strikes to proceed rather than ensuring hard-working university staff are paid fairly. Employers must get back around the table, reopen negotiations and give university workers the fair pay they deserve.”

Notes to editors:

  • UNISON is the largest union in Scotland and the UK.
  • We represent employees who are vital to university services and student support across Scotland. They include: librarians, IT specialists, technicians, administrative and business support staff, cleaners, canteen workers and estate management staff.
  • UNISON’s pay claim included a consolidated pay rise of £4K or RPI plus 2%. The Universities and Colleges Employers’ Association made a pay offer for 2023/24 in January, with increases of 5-8% depending on individual workers’ salaries. This was then given to staff. When put to UNISON members, 82% voted to reject.

Full list of rolling strike days:

  • University of Glasgow     19th & 20th, 26th, 27th & 28th
  • University of Dundee      18th, 19th, 20th, 21st & 22nd
  • Glasgow School of Art    20th, 27th & 28th
  • Glasgow Caledonian University   18th, 19th, 20th & 21st