Bath Spa University staff strike over ‘insulting’ pay offer

“Striking is always the last option, but staff have been left with no other choice.”

Two days of action begin over pay increase way behind inflation.

Staff at Bath Spa University, including cleaners, security workers​,​ administrators and librarians are striking this week over a long-running pay dispute, says UNISON ​today (Wednesday).

Hundreds of employees will take part in two days of action from Wednesday 5th October to Thursday 6th October. Picket lines will be in place at all three campuses, Locksbrook, Newton Park and Sion Hill.

Employees are angry that despite rejecting ​the 1.5% pay offer made last August, managers ​ignored ​staff protests and imposed the increase, UNISON adds. Even with this increase, low-paid employees are ​still taking home less than £18,000 a year.

Years of under​-investment in higher education, coupled with wage freezes, have kept staff pay artificially low, says the union. Workers want an across-the-board £1,250 increase to help them cope with soaring prices and inflation.

Staff were barely making ends meet even before the shock of the cost-of-living crisis, UNISON says. Now with prices rocketing, they cannot afford to accept a pay offer that’s already been wiped out by inflation, the union adds.

UNISON South West regional secretary Joanne Kaye said: “Striking is always the last option, but staff have been left with no other choice.

“For years, university workers have endured what amount to pay cuts. ​Yet, these are the people who made sure students’ learning was uninterrupted throughout the pandemic

“But enough is enough​.​ ​University employees simply can’t afford to live on poverty wages or accept woeful, insulting pay offers.

“University managers must make a better offer to give a fair pay increase to all staff.”