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Current Pay Negotiations

Multi-employer negotiating round 2015-16
 

Thursday 2 July - Trade unions’ responses to the final offer

We have now heard from four of the five trade unions with regard to the final offer.

UCU’s Higher Education Committee (HEC) has decided that the ballot result is sufficient to record a rejection of the offer and UCU will ask for the New JNCHES dispute resolution procedure to be invoked. In their consultative ballot of UCU members, with a turnout of just under 32%, 53.5% voted to reject the offer. The consultative ballot also asked members to indicate their support for both strike action and action short of a strike (ASOS), making it clear that members would need to support both if the union was to pursue a dispute. 55.7% of their members voting indicated that they would be prepared to take ASOS. However, when asked about strike action 53% of the members voting said they would not be prepared to take strike action. For UCU’s ballot result in full see the UCU website. 

UCU have indicated that they will organise regional meetings in September and their HEC will meet on 9 October to receive a report from these meetings and decide on a way forward.

UNISON members have voted to accept the offer by a significant majority of 72%.

Unite have advised that, following a branch consultation, they are rejecting the offer. There are no details at the present time on the number of branches who voted for or against the offer.

GMB has confirmed that its members have voted to accept the pay offer by a ratio of 2:1.

We are advised that EIS is not in a position to provide feedback on its consultation on the final pay offer until the union has held a meeting, to be organised in the week commencing 6 July.

It is anticipated that the disputes resolution process will be requested by UCU and Unite. Employers will not be in a position to implement an award before that process is concluded.

We will make updates to this page as further detail of the trade unions’ consultations is given to us and a timescale for the disputes procedure is developed.

Monday 8 June - Update on trade union responses to the final offer

Following the UCU annual Congress held in late May, UCEA was advised that the Higher Education Sector Conference had amended the recommendation initially made in the negotiators’ report to say that a recommendation to reject the offer and pursue industrial action should be made when the final pay offer was put to UCU members for consultation. The consultative ballot is to commence in early June, and run until around 18 June. UCU will consider the result of the consultative ballot at its HE Committee meeting scheduled on 26 June.

GMB has informed UCEA that its HE committee will carry out a consultative ballot and make no recommendation regarding the final pay offer. The GMB consultative ballot will conclude by 26 June.

Unite’s national sector committee met on 2 June and decided that it would conduct a consultative ballot with its members via branches without a recommendation; this will conclude on 26 June.

The EIS-ULA executive met on 27 May and agreed to conduct a consultative ballot of its members with a recommendation to reject the final pay offer. This will conclude by 26 June.

UNISON's higher education service group executive met on 18 May and decided to consult UNISON members across the UK, without a recommendation. In its media release it states that the service group executive agreed that the offer is "the best that can be achieved by negotiation and that any improvement will only be secured by sustained strike action". UNISON’s consultation with its members opened on 20 May and will conclude on 26 June.

This webpage will be updated to reflect further developments.

Tuesday 12 May 2015

The fourth negotiating meeting of New JNCHES for 2015-16 took place on 12 May 2015. Following detailed discussions a  full and final offer was made, on both the pay and ‘pay equality’ claims. The offer provides  a general base pay uplift of 1% from 1 August 2015 on all points, save for points 1 to 8 where higher base increases have been offered. The offer includes proposals for two particular new pieces of joint work on matters relating to gender pay gap and to casual and hourly paid staff. This is subject to the successful conclusion of the on-going joint work agreed in the 2014-15 settlement. During the meeting the employers presented a chart (below) to illustrate the significant real terms value of this offer in the context of current (March 2015) inflation measures, comparing this with the lower real terms value of last year’s settlement (set against March 2014 inflation measures).

The five trade unions advised that they would each be reporting the outcome of this year’s JNCHES negotiations to their various committees or other bodies in the period up until the beginning of June. We do not yet know when or how any of the unions may put the final offer to their members for consultation.

UCEA15038 (attachment) - Employers full and final settlement offer

UCEA15038 (attachment) - Real-terms value of offer compared to last year - 12 May 2015

Friday 24 April 2015

The third New JNCHES meeting for 2015-16 took place on 24 April. Following full and detailed discussions an offer was made. This pay offer seeks to address all elements of the trade unions’ joint pay claim, providing a general uplift at or above inflation of 0.9% with additional loading on the first 8 points of the pay spine taking the increase up to 2.6%, meaning that point 1 of the 51 point spine would cut to ‘the Living Wage’ at 35 hours per week. A context for the employers’ offer is the availability of additional pay increases through progression available to around half of the sector’s employees covered by these negotiations. The employers asked for re-familiarisation with the principles in the 2003-04 Framework Agreement guidance on pay progression and review as appropriate of established procedures.

The trade unions are considering the offer and the negotiations are set to conclude at the final scheduled meeting on Tuesday 12 May. 

 

Tuesday 14 April 2015

This paper was tabled at our negotiating meeting on 14 April to demonstrate the value of two aspects of the HE reward package at point 1 on the pay spine in hourly terms. The paper looks at sick pay and holiday pay arrangements over and above statutory provisions often provided by HEIs.

Tabled 2 - Estimating the value of the HE reward package

Employers' statement 2015-16

The following documents present the key contextual issues for employers in the 2015-16 negotiations. These were given to the trade unions one day prior to the first negotiating meeting on 26 March 2015: we have included the Employers’ statement, background  material and a one page summary which was tabled at the meeting. We also include a list of participating HEIs.

UCEA15025 (attachement) - Employers' statement

UCEA15025 (attachment) - 15-16 Employers' statement background material

UCEA15025 (attachment) - Employers' summary points for 26 March

UCEA15025 (attachment) - List of participating employers

UCEA15025 (attachment) - UCEA Communications Briefing - start of 2015-16 Pay Negotiations 26 March 2015.docx

Trade union claim 2015-16

The Joint HE trade unions submitted two linked national claims, one for pay and one for pay-related equality matters, on Thursday 19 March. These can be found below.

Joint Higher Education Trade Union Pay Claim(6)

Joint Higher Education Trade Union Pay Equality Claim (6)

For contextual information on pay in HE please see the UCEA infographics on pay.

Meeting dates

The parties to New JNCHES are scheduled to meet on the following dates for the 2015-16 negotiations:

  • Thursday 26 March 2015
  • Tuesday 14 April 2015
  • Friday 24 April 2015
  • Tuesday 12 May 2015

Information for UCEA Employers

Preparation for the 2015-16 Multi-employer negotiating round started in February with the commencement of UCEA's three-stage consultation with members - see UCEA Update 15:003 circulated on the 8 January 2015.

HR Directors and other senior officers can access the recently revised UCEA Members' Guide to Negotiations in HE via this page of the website and briefing documents via this page of the website.

More information on the 2015-16 Multi-employer negotiating round will be published when available.

For enquires please contact Sue Endean or Stuart McNicholas

Last updated: 2 July 2015