Unison is expecting its 60,000 members in higher education to vote for strike action in a ballot that closes next Tuesday (21 November).
The union’s members in universities and colleges of higher education include non-teaching staff in admissions, clerical, technical, catering and security posts.
Elaine Harrison, Unison head of education, said: “Strike action is not a step that our members take lightly. Workers in higher education are very low paid and taking industrial action will cause real financial hardship. However, the strength of feeling among our members is so strong and I am confident that Unison will get a yes vote for action.”
Harrison said union members had been “left with no choice” after employers withdrew from national bargaining on conditions of service and offered staff a 3 per cent pay rise.
Unison’s claim is for a 10 per cent pay rise, a minimum rate of £5 an hour and a reduction in the working week.