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Employers offer 0.4% as the maximum affordable increase in the current climate

Employers offer 0.4% as the maximum affordable increase in the current climate alongside new Training and Development initiatives

UCEA and the HE trade unions* met today (28 May 2010) as New JNCHES for the fourth meeting of HE pay negotiations for 2010-11. Constructive discussions continued on the key areas of training and development, pay and other elements of the unions’ claims.
Employers emphasised that the maximum affordable increase that could be offered was a 0.4% consolidated sum. This final offer was made against the background of serious funding cuts, including this week’s additional £200 million of cuts to the HE sector in England. It is the maximum that can be afforded in a sector facing intense economic pressure and future uncertainties.     
Employers also offered to develop a new Training and Development and Apprenticeship initiative, working jointly with the unions. This was recognised as a very important issue to both staff and employers.  
UCEA acknowledged trade unions’ concerns about job security and re-emphasised that decisions on staffing are taken by individual institutions. However, 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.
The employers urged the trade unions and their members to seriously consider the offer of a 0.4% consolidated pay increase, the maximum affordable in an exceptionally difficult environment.
* EIS, GMB, UCU, Unison and Unite
** 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.
  • 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 (
Marc Whittaker, Communications and Events Officer (
Tel: 020 7383 2444   Out-of-hours: 07827 157324.
UCEA’s website provides extensive background information relating to the 2010-11 Pay Negotiations  
Notes to Editors

  • The New JNCHES negotiating timetable is a process that runs across three negotiating meetings (more if required), the first was 29 March, the second was 19 April; the third was 5 May. The need for an additional New JNCHES meeting was agreed for 28 May 2010. Background on this year’s talks can be found at
  • 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%.
  • Against a background of trade union concerns on job security, 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: