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Strike action sees UHI support staff walk-out in Inverness

By Philip Murray

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Picket line at UHI Inverness Campus. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Picket line at UHI Inverness Campus. Picture: James Mackenzie.

Staff at the University of the Highlands and Islands hit the picket line this morning amid ongoing strike action over pay and job losses.

Unison members at several UHI sites – including in Inverness – were among 21 separate walk-outs at Scottish colleges on Thursday morning.

In total, more than 2000 support staff across Scotland are expected to stop working on Thursday as part of the long-running dispute.

Those roles affected by the strike include staff working as librarians, IT specialists, administrators, cleaners, canteen workers and in estate management.

Away from Inverness, other UHI sites to see picket lines on Thursday morning included UHI Moray, UHI North, West and Hebrides, UHI Perth, and UHI Argyll.

The union says college leaders must make an improved pay offer and guarantee there will no compulsory redundancies if they want to avoid further disruption.

The union has previously called for Scottish ministers to "step in and get the dispute sorted".

Chair of Unison Scotland further education committee, Collette Bradley, added: “College staff have not had a pay rise for 18 months, which is completely unacceptable in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.

“Employees are simply demanding fair pay and no compulsory redundancies. If colleges want to avoid further disruption, they need to start taking those demands seriously.”

Unison's continued action follows a December ballot asking staff if they were prepared to take further strikes – with 81 per cent voting in favour.

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