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UCEA statement in relation to planned day of industrial action on 31 October 2013

 22 October 2013

UCEA statement in relation to planned day of industrial action on 31 October 2013

A UCEA spokesperson said:

“Pay increases to HE staff on the pay spine will mean that salary costs in most HE institutions will actually rise by around 3 per cent this year. This will comprise 1 per cent for all alongside often overlooked generous incremental increases and contribution pay for many, adding an additional 2 per cent to pay bills. UCEA’s member HE institutions tell us that the vast majority of their staff fully understand the reality of the challenging and uncertain environment for their institution and many are anxious to see the implementation of the award, rather than a prolonged dispute. The 1 per cent pay uplift and joint work around the gender pay gap, casual contracts and flexible working arrangements remains on the table. Staff do not want to support any action that could harm both their institutions and their students. It is for trade unions to predict their support but given that less than 5 per cent of staff chose to vote in favour of strike action our HE institutions anticipate a low level impact on students.”

Notes to editor:

• According to the latest data available to UCEA 378,250 people work in the sector - of these 29,538 or 7.8 per cent voted from the three unions. 17,800 voted in favour of strike action, 4.7 per cent.
• The £1bn surpluses figure being quoted by trade unions is for the 2011-12 financial year (2 years old) - the March 2013 Hefce report notes the forecast was £380m.
• Data from the HESA publication 'Finances of Higher Education Institutions 2011/12' demonstrates that there are issues to consider in relation to financial breakdowns by institution: one being that 32 out of 163 HEIs (roughly 20%) account for 65.4% of so-called sector surpluses. HESA 2011/12 financial data relates to the institutions' financial year 1 August 2011 to 31 July 2012.