Cambridge University support staff on three day strike over pay row

The union, representing over 450 members of support staff, say they are paid below inflation rates

Cambridge University support staff walk out for a final day today, as part of industrial action taken by the Unite union from Wednesday 31st January to Friday 2nd February.

The action comes amidst a dispute about pay and working conditions for those employed by the university in support areas such as the University Library and Fitzwilliam Museum.

Unite, the union representing over 450 members of support staff, claim they have been paid below inflation rates, with many earning less than £23,000.

A spokesperson elaborates: “Despite being one of the world’s most prestigious institutes of learning, the university is trying to force through a real terms pay cut.

“Workers have only been offered an increase of between 5 per cent and 6 per cent. The pay award was due to come into effect in August last year when the real inflation rate (RPI) stood at 9 per cent.”

The university have revealed it is “regretful” of the action and is making efforts to “minimise the impact”, as well as engaging in “constructive dialogue” with Unite.

In a statement to The Cambridge Tab, a Cambridge University spokesperson has said: “We are committed to open and constructive dialogue with Unite and have commissioned a pay review which is being progressed as a matter of urgency.

“A special joint negotiating committee with representatives from all three recognised unions, including Unite, has been constituted to discuss the pay review. We regret therefore this industrial action, but we are making every effort to minimise the impact.”

The action comes following a year of heavy disruption as a result of strikes at the University of Cambridge. The UCU Marking and Assessment Boycott, which ended on Wednesday 6th September 2023, left students with exams unmarked for a prolonged period, delaying the graduation of many finalists.