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UCEA discusses complex and challenging circumstances with unions

UCEA and the HE trade unions* met today (19 April 2011) as New JNCHES for the first meeting of the HE pay negotiating round for 2011-12.  UCEA received the unions’ joint claim which included an increase on all pay points referencing RPI (5.5% in March 2011), underpinning for the low paid plus a number of additional elements, pay-related and otherwise. 

UCEA and the unions discussed the increasingly complex and challenging economic climate and sector-specific concerns alongside the details of their claim and issues of affordability.  The employers and unions are now reflecting on the discussions before returning to the next scheduled New JNCHES meeting on 26 May 2011.

It was noted that the vast majority of institutions have again opted to participate in the voluntary collective multi-employer negotiating round for 2011-12. The employers’ referencing to ongoing economic challenges also noted the significant pensions pressures on all institutions.

Employers drew attention to other aspects of the unions’ claim that had recently been addressed through two of the three completed Joint Working Groups** established as part of the 2009-10 negotiations.  These included the highly positive joint work and research pertaining to a range of equalities issues. 

* EIS, GMB, UCU, Unison and Unite
** These joint working groups (follow this link for the reports) covered:

  • Joint work to take forward a range of equalities issues.
  • Joint work to further evaluate pay modernisation through implementation of the Framework Agreement and to improve the collection of sector pay data.
  • Joint work to increase understanding in relation to HE funding and sustainability issues affecting financial decision-making.

For further information:
Please contact Andy Fryer, Communications Manager ( or Marc Whittaker, Communications and Events Officer ( on 020 7383 2444.

UCEA’s website provides extensive background information relating to the 2010-11 and 2011-12 Pay Negotiations

Notes to Editors

The New JNCHES negotiating timetable is a process that usually runs across meetings in March, April and May.  This forum allows for three negotiating meetings (more if required); the first was delayed through mutual consent. The next meeting is scheduled for 26 May 2011.