STAFF at the University of Sussex are on strike in a row over pay.

University and College Union (UCU) members walked out today in a row over pay.

They have been on the picket line and leafleting members of the university's Senate.

The dispute has arisen after a pay offer of just 1.1% from the universities’ employers, UCEA.

UCU claim universities could afford to pay more and the latest offer did little to address the real terms pay cut of 14.5% that its members have suffered since 2009.

The union claim that staff salaries are being squeezed despite vice-chancellors enjoying a 6.1% pay hike.

University of Sussex UCU branch secretary Tom Frost said: "We are fighting for fair pay and taking a stand against the increasing use of insecure contracts which are undermining the academic role, and against the insidious pay inequality that sees many women earning less than men for the same work."

Members at Sussex are in the first wave of institutions that will take part in strike action aimed at disrupting open days, graduation ceremonies and key university processes meetings.

More local branches are expected to announce their plans this week after union members voted to escalate their action earlier this month.

As well as walking out last month, UCU members have started working to contract, which means they will refuse to work overtime, set additional work, or undertake any voluntary duties like covering timetabled classes for absent colleagues.