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Employers offer 0.4% and a new Training and Development initiative

Employers confirmed that the 0.4% consolidated pay offer was the maximum increase that could be offered. However, this offer will be subject to review in late October should there be no settlement. The employers also offered to develop a new Training and Development initiative and work jointly with the unions on a range of other issues in the recently established working groups**.

All of the unions, except UCU, will now consult with their executive bodies and are expected to report back in the coming weeks. UCU rejected all aspects of the offer. UCEA acknowledged the unions’ serious concerns relating to job security issues as a result of funding cuts. These concerns, alongside the trade unions’ continued calls for job security provisions to be collectively agreed at national level, resulted in UCEA undertaking additional consultation among subscribing institutions to seek up-to-date views on this important topic. 

Consultation feedback from HEIs confirmed that:

  • UCEA has no mandate from its member institutions to engage in negotiations on national job security provisions.
  • Handling workforce change is a matter for individual institutions – the vast majority already have procedures in place, which are developed and applied in consultation with the recognised trade unions.
  • There is scope for joint initiatives at national level that support and facilitate the process of workforce change within institutions, but not in the form of collectively agreed provisions.

The employers urged the trade unions and their members to seriously consider the offer of a 0.4% consolidated pay increase in an exceptionally difficult environment.

* EIS, GMB, UCU, Unison and Unite

ENDS
For further information:
Please contact:

Andy Fryer, Communications Manager (a.fryer@ucea.ac.uk)

Tel: 020 7383 2444 Out-of-hours: 07827 157324.

UCEA’s website provides extensive background information relating to the 2010-11 Pay Negotiations http://www.ucea.ac.uk/en/2010_Pay_Negotiations/  

Notes to Editors

• **UCEA has worked with the unions to ensure broad dialogue on this difficult topic takes place in the Joint Working Group on Sustainability. This is one of three Joint Working Groups, all of which have started work on a range of jointly identified issues. These joint working groups cover issues jointly identified as part of the 2009-10 pay settlement: Joint work to: take forward a range of equalities issues, to further evaluate pay modernisation through implementation of the Framework Agreement and to improve the collection of sector pay data, and to increase understanding in relation to HE funding and sustainability issues affecting financial decision-making.

• The New JNCHES negotiating timetable is a process that usually runs across three negotiating meetings (more if required). The need for additional New JNCHES meetings was agreed by both sides. Background details on this year’s talks can be found at http://www.ucea.ac.uk/en/2010_Pay_Negotiations/national-negotiations-timeline/  

• Sector reward has improved considerably in recent years. Pensions and increments costs mean that the overall increase to staff costs in HEIs will have significantly exceeded the headline pay awards. This current offer has to take into account the fact that a significant number of staff (about two-thirds) will also receive incremental pay rises averaging 2.9%.

• The Acas Digest on job security, encouraging dialogue and understanding of important issues facing institutions considering staffing changes, was distributed in March 2010. The Acas Digest on job security is accessible via the UCEA website at: http://www.ucea.ac.uk/en/Employee_Relations/acas-digest-on-job-security/index.cfm  

• The 0.4% final offer was made against the background of serious funding cuts, including a recent additional £200 million of cuts to the HE sector in England. This is the maximum that can be afforded in a sector facing intense economic pressure and future uncertainties.