Students across the country are set to face disruption this week as university academics and administrative staff stage a one-day walkout in a row over pay.
Union leaders said the time for talking was fast running out for the strike – due to take place on Thursday – to be called off.
The Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), which represents and negotiates on behalf of institutions, said it is “disappointed” by the move.
Universities in Yorkshire are expected to be affected by the action by three unions – the University and College Union (UCU), Unison and Unite. A joint union rally will be held at Leeds University tomorrow with further demonstrations in Leeds and Sheffield planned for Thursday.
The unions argue that a one per cent pay rise offered to university staff – including lecturers, technicians and administration workers – means there has been a 13 per cent pay cut in real terms since October 2008.
A UCEA spokesman said: “It is for trade unions to predict their support but, given that less than five per cent of the HE workforce chose to vote in favour of strike action, our institutions tell us that they anticipate a low-level impact on students.”