'Below-inflation' pay offer sparks three-day Cambridge University staff walk out

Staff at Cambridge University mounted a picket line this week after walking out on strike in a dispute over pay.

Around 450 members of the Unite union, including those who work in the library, engineering department and estate management, will be on strike until Friday.

Unite says the university has offered a below-inflation increase of between 5% and 6%, which was due to come into effect last August.

The union’s members, some of whom are said to earn less than £23,000 a year, are demanding above-inflation rises to cope with the cost of living in what Unite says is one of the most expensive parts of the UK outside London.

General secretary Sharon Graham said: “Cambridge University has been enforcing below-inflation pay rises for too long and our members have had enough.

“It might be a prestigious university, but that doesn’t put food on the table or pay the bills of essential workers doing vital roles across the university.

“Our members have the full support of Unite as they stand up to their employer and demand a fair pay deal.”

A University of Cambridge spokesman 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 will make every effort to minimise the impact.”

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