Publishing staff at Cambridge University Press (CUP) have voted to reject a pay increase of 2%.
The proposed pay increase, which CUP has described as reasonable and in line with other pay settlements, has led the Unite union to accuse CUP of using the economic downturn to boost profits.
Unite regional officer Steve Ireland claimed CUP had put career performance salary reviews on hold. He said: "Due to management's intransigence, the union agreed to re-ballot its members in publishing in order to break the stalemate and move the negotiating process forward.
"Now that the original rejection of the offer has been confirmed, we fully hope management will abide by the recognised process, and get back round the negotiating table with the union to reach a fair settlement for staff."
Andrew Gilfillan, m.d. of CUP for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: "We feel that a 2% increase for staff is reasonable, and is fully in line with industry, national and local pay settlements. Taking into consideration the future investment needed at the Press and the uncertainties of the current economic climate, we believe that awarding more than a 2% increase in basic pay would be irresponsible."
He added staff already benefit from a bonus scheme linked to annual results, which paid eligible staff 4.2% of their earnings from the 2010 financial year. He added many staff benefit from salary increases of between 3 and 6%
based on skills development.