University of Bedfordshire staff vote to strike over ‘sub-par’ pay offer

University says the offer is the highest in nearly 20 years
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Staff at the University of Bedfordshire have voted to strike after receiving a ‘sub-par’ pay offer from the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA)

Yesterday (May 15), the union revelled that cleaners, IT technicians, library staff and other higher education workers at the University of Bedfordshire would decide on dates to walk out unless UCEA increases its pay offer for 2023/24.

A spokesperson for the university said: “We are disappointed that UNISON has announced strike action despite staff being offered a final pay offer of between 8% and 5% – the highest higher education pay offer made in nearly 20 years. It prioritises the disproportionate effect of high inflation falling on the lower paid but with a minimum of 5% for all staff.”

Pictured: Luton campusPictured: Luton campus
Pictured: Luton campus

But UNISON believes the current offer falls a long way short of inflation and staff deserve more. UNISON Eastern head of higher education, Julie Trundell, said: “University staff deserve more than another sub-par pay deal. Workers are having to leave for better-paid jobs elsewhere leaving millions of students facing a worsening university experience.”

She added: “The employers must now come back with a better pay offer or staff will be forced to take industrial action.”

The spokesperson for the University of Bedfordshire continued: “This decision has come despite the University of Bedfordshire deciding to bring forward this pay award to raise staff salaries from February (instead of August) in recognition of the cost of living crisis, as well as making a one-off staff payment in September 2022 as an acknowledgement of the cost of living challenges being faced by the country.”

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