Concerns over clearing as University of Sussex staff to strike

Support staff at the University of Sussex will walk out for 48 hours from Wednesday, August 16, in a dispute about a pay rise which has been deemed “inadequate”.

The union Unison said the strike action will disrupt “clearing” which is the process of filling courses with vacant spots.

Workers including cleaners, IT technicians, administrators, library staff and others supporting student learning will be involved in the strike.

This is an escalation of Unison’s dispute, which now involves 22 universities across the country.

Brighton University support staff will also strike.

Unison said the pay rise staff have been given falls short of what is needed to cope with cost-of-living pressures.


The 2023/24 pay offer is worth five to eight per cent, depending on salary, with a higher percentage rise for lower-paid workers.

“Senior managers in higher education have been enjoying executive-style pay and bonuses over the past few years,” said Neil Duncan-Jordan, Unison’s head of higher education for the South East.

“But support staff in vital roles, who make sure students have a decent university experience, have endured years of real-terms pay cuts.

“Universities must rethink their inadequate offer again and improve wages.”

A spokeswoman for Sussex University said: “This is a national issue which can only be resolved at a national level. We urge the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) to continue to engage with Unison on their members’ concerns.

“At Sussex, we understand that the cost-of-living crisis has caused a uniquely challenging set of circumstances for working people, and we respect the right of our staff members to engage in industrial action.

“The university has recently been accredited as a real living wage employer, and last autumn we announced a £6.6 million cost-of-living support package for staff and students.

“We are ready for clearing and have measures in place to minimise any impact of the strike. We look forward to making offers of places to study at Sussex to students from across the country.”

Leave a Comment