Staff at University of Bedfordshire's Luton campus to strike again next month

UNISON announced the coordinated action today
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Staff at the University of Bedfordshire will walk out next month as they demand a “fair wage rise”.

Their union, UNISON, revealed today (September 7) that support workers at the university will be at picket lines in Luton from October 2 to 4, joining more than 5,000 people across the country in action.

Staff voted to reject a pay offer for 2023/24 earlier this year. In a ballot which ended in July, workers at 22 higher education institutions backed more strikes.

The university campus in Luton. (Picture: University of Bedfordshire)The university campus in Luton. (Picture: University of Bedfordshire)
The university campus in Luton. (Picture: University of Bedfordshire)

University of Bedfordshire spokesperson 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 HE 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.

“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.”

The university workers represented by UNISON include cleaners, IT technicians, administrators and library staff. UNISON University of Bedfordshire branch chair Martin Thurlow said: “Support staff play a crucial role in helping students through university, but they’ve endured years of real-terms pay cuts.“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.”