Trade union claim
The Joint HE Unions submitted two national claims; one for pay and one for pay-related and equality matters.
The headline claim was for an increase in line with current RPI (3.2% in February 2013) plus an additional percentage increase “to start to address the real terms reduction in pay over the last four years”. The claim also requests that employers address the issue of low pay by achieving a “living wage” for all staff in HE through the removal of the bottom two points of the pay spine and to increase London weightings to a minimum of £4,000 (phased over four years).
On pay-related and equality matters the claim includes requests to extend the top of the pay spine beyond point 51 and an agreement to address the issues of Hourly Paid staff and “other forms of casualisation in the sector”.
This background document sets out as key points the employers’ comments on the context for this year’s pay negotiations. UCEA provides this as both background information for the negotiations and as a summary of the key issues to be considered from the employers’ perspective. The document also provides supporting detail and analysis to substantiate these key issues. It deals with HE funding, HEI income and expenditure, the labour market, the economy and pay settlements.
Summary of the negotiating round for 2013-14
UCEA and the five HE unions - EIS, GMB, UCU, UNISON and Unite – held four meetings of New JNCHES between March and May. The negotiations concluded with a final offer of 1%, with offers of joint work on gender pay and casual contracts.
The negotiations were followed by two dispute resolution meetings with four of the unions in June and July, and a further dispute resolution meeting with EIS in November.
UCU, UNISON, Unite and EIS all rejected the final offer and balloted for industrial action. A one-day strike took place on 31 October 2013 by UCU, UNISON and Unite, followed by action short of a strike by UCU from 1 November in the form of "working to contract". Details are on the industrial action section of the website.
GMB members voted to accept the final offer, which was confirmed to UCEA on 18 October 2013.
UCEA and EIS held a dispute resolution meeting on 4 November. EIS conducted a ballot for strike action which closed on 6 November 2013 resulting in 50.5% of members voting for strike action.
UCEA and the four unions in dispute have since held two further meetings in November to try to resolve the dispute. UCU, UNISON, Unite and EIS all held a day of strike action on 3 December.
Member HEIs can access more information from UCEA on the industrial action arising from the pay dispute.
UCU wrote to UCEA on 4 November 2013 requesting a reopening of negotiations. The letter and UCEA’s response are provided below. Similarly, UNISON wrote to UCEA on 5 November 2013 requesting a reopening of negotiations. The letter and UCEA’s response are also provided below.
On 11 November, UCU replied to UCEA's letter. UCEA responded again on 12 November, offering dates for talks. Both letters are provided below.
Background documents for employers can be found here.
For more information please contact Nicola Carter.
Last updated: 4 December 2013.