HR staff at universities and colleges across the UK face strike action after public sector union Unison called for a ballot of its 60,000 members.
The union is protesting against a recent 3 per cent pay offer to staff which it believes is below the going rate and well below the recommendations of the Bett Report into higher education pay.
Ged Murray, chairman of the Universities Personnel Association, said, “While we sympathise and understand the situation of many of the staff, this is all we can afford to pay. Even funding at this level has major implications for future staffing levels and some universities have already warned of redundancies which may result from this.”
He added, “After Bett we were promised £600m but this hasn’t happened and we have to pay what we can afford from the existing budgets.”
The union wants a 10 per cent rise, a minimum wage of £5 and a reduced working week.
Unison head of higher education Elaine Harrison said, “After years of cuts, poor pay deals and an independent review, we are still no nearer to pay justice.
“The Bett Report recommended raising pay levels and improving and harmonising conditions of service, and yet the employers have withdraw from national bargaining of the conditions of service.”