Edinburgh strikes: Staff at Edinburgh's Napier University strike in dispute over pay

Support staff at an Edinburgh University have gone on strike in a row over pay, as union claims workers treated like ‘second class citizens’.

Edinburgh Napier, Glasgow and Robert Gordon universities have been hit by the walk-out over an imposed, national pay award which union bosses branded ‘well off current inflation’.

The strike started on Tuesday (September 20) and will continue on Wednesday (September 21), with further action planned for October.

Unison said other institutions could join the strike action later in the autumn after members at almost all other Scottish universities will be balloted or re-balloted.

Craiglockhart campus of Edinburgh Napier University

Bosses at the union previously warned the university’s library, IT, school support, catering, security and other professional services functions would be ‘seriously disrupted’. University lecturers are not involved in the dispute.

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The strikes come after The Universities and Colleges employers association proposed a three per cent offer for most university staff, with the amount rising to 7.2 per cent for the lowest paid.

Unison said the offer comes after “many years of worse, imposed offers” than those paid to other education and public service workers in Scotland.

Lorcan Mullen, Unison Scotland's head of higher and further education, said this was the first wave of strikes on campuses this year.

He said: "The university staff we represent are sick to death of below-inflation pay rises.

"In recent days, we have seen a range of offers and impositions of one-off payments from several Scottish universities to supplement the imposed, disputed national award.

"This demonstrates a clear ability to pay better on a permanent basis, and our members want to fight for consolidated improvements to their pay and conditions."

"These workers kept universities running throughout the pandemic; they are indispensable to a functioning university and they cannot keep being treated as second-class citizens

on Scottish campuses."

A spokesperson for Edinburgh Napier University said: “We understand the economic climate is difficult for staff, especially those on lower salaries.

“While we respect the right to take industrial action, we are disappointed it will have an impact on our students and other staff members.

“We will continue to work with the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) to nationally negotiate a fair and affordable increase for our staff, advocating larger

increases for those on the lower salary points.”