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UCEA statement on conclusion to 2016-17 HE pay negotiations

29 November 2016

Professor Mark E. Smith, Chair of UCEA, said:

“The conclusion to the HE pay negotiations for 2016-17 is good news. It is good news for students, as the long-standing UCU threat of industrial action that could have harmed their education has now been fully removed. It is good news for staff, as despite the unprecedented external economic factors now playing out, our HE institutions have delivered an above inflation base uplift for all, with substantially more for those on the lower pay points. It is good news for HE institutions and sector trade unions, as there is a great opportunity for constructive dialogue relating to two important issues of concern for all – the gender pay gap and the employment of staff on temporary contracts.

“UCEA listened, considered and responded to the HE trade unions on the many aspects of their claim in making the final offer*. We are pleased that UNISON, Unite and GMB, all of whom have settled and concluded the round, are now joined by UCU**.”

*Go to UCEA’s Pay Negotiations webpage for full details of the 2016-17 settlement at  

• UNISON has settled following a ballot for action; UCEA estimates a 22% turnout of members voting with a narrow majority (54%) saying they were willing to support strike action.

• Unite has settled following a ballot for action; UCEA estimated a turnout of around 25% of members voting with 55% saying they were not prepared to take strike action.

• GMB has confirmed that it accepts the pay offer and views the round as concluded; it did not ballot its members for any action.

• UCU has confirmed that it considers the 2016-17 negotiations to be concluded after 15% of UCU members voted in a consultative ballot. 57% of those voting (5,043 members) voted against taking further industrial action and 52% of those voting (4,615 members) agreed that the joint work offer should be taken forward by their union.

• EIS is the only union that has not concluded the round; it continues to call on its 1200 members in some Scottish HEIs to take action short of a strike (ASOS).