Unite members working in universities across the country, including Newcastle University, are taking strike action today.
Unite national officer for education Mike McCartney said:
"Our members are taking this action with a heavy heart, but they have endured a five-year pay drought. We are calling for the employers to get around the table urgently so that our members contribution to the prestige and reputation of higher education is recognised.
"You have the curious scenario of highly-paid vice-chancellors at UK universities travelling the world extolling the merits of their universities to attract more foreign students.
– Mike McCartney, Unite national officer for education
"Yet, at the same time, our members, who underpin these highly regarded institutions of academic excellence, are treated with disdain when they ask for a decent pay rise, at a time when household bills, such as energy costs, are going through the roof.
"We hope that the strike will focus employers' minds and they realise their staff are their most important asset and reward them accordingly."