Staff at Aberdeen’s universities will be on strike today in protest at an erosion in living standards over the past four years.
Unions predicted that lectures would be cancelled and buildings shut at the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University (RGU).
Staff are upset at a “miserly” offer of a 1% pay rise on top of rising inflation which they say has effectively resulted in a 13% cut in wages since 2009.
Today’s strike will be the second walkout in just over a month by members of UCU, Unison and Unite. Today’s action will be joined by the EIS teachers’ union.
Universities in Aberdeen thought the strike would have a limited impact.
UCU Scotland president Dave Anderson said staff were taking strike action to say “enough is enough”.
“They have seen their pay slashed in real terms since 2009 and this year’s miserly pay offer, at a time of rising bills, was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” he said.
“Staff love their jobs, but their goodwill cannot continue to be taken for granted. Nobody wants to take strike action and lose a day’s pay, but we feel we have been left with no alternative.”
The walkouts in Aberdeen are part of national industrial action, supported by the National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland.
NUS president Gordon Maloney said it was not just lecturers who were suffering but staff on lower wages such as porters, technicians and secretaries.
“Fair pay is crucial in maintaining well-motivated staff.”