University of Bedfordshire staff join coordinated strike action over pay

Support staff at the University of Bedfordshire will join workers at 20 universities in England and Scotland in coordinated strikes for a decent pay rise, says UNISON today.

More than 5,000 staff across the country could take part as they escalate their demand for a fair wage rise after many years of below-inflation increases.

Staff at the University of Bedfordshire’s Luton and Bedford campuses will take to the picket lines from Monday 2 to Wednesday 4 October.

The strike dates come shortly after the start of term and follow industrial action at a number of universities earlier this year.

Staff voted to reject a pay offer for 2023/24 – worth between 5% and 8% but well below the rate of inflation at the time – in a consultation conducted by UNISON earlier this year. In a union ballot that ended in July, workers at 22 higher education institutions backed further strikes.

The university workers represented by UNISON include cleaners, IT technicians, administrators, library staff and others supporting student learning.

UNISON University of Bedfordshire branch chair Martin Thurlow said: “Support staff play a crucial role helping students through university, but they’ve endured years of real-terms pay cuts.

“Many can’t support themselves as prices of food, fuel and household bills continue to rise.

“Some are having to leave for better-paid jobs elsewhere and that risks leaving millions of students facing a worsening university experience. Universities must improve wages.”

Pay latest