Statement from yesterday’s meeting between UCEA and UCU

A UCEA spokesperson said: 

“UCEA representatives met yesterday with UCU in continuing dialogue that we have sought to develop approaches and progress ideas for new sector-level work to meet the many challenges in workload, gender pay gaps / ethnicity pay and casual employment. 

“UCEA, on behalf of the 147 HE institutions it represents in the 2019 collective negotiations, was pleased that our dialogue continued yesterday. Universities, whilst all distinctive and autonomous, are supportive of initiatives that can support and encourage their work and inform approaches they may consider. Discussion enabled both sides to test out some shared ideas for new sector-level joint work on the three key matters around workload, gender pay gaps / ethnicity pay and casual employment, all of which are being pursued in UCU’s pay and conditions dispute campaign. This dialogue on the three key matters was constructive and the hope is that sector-level work can be agreed that can inform some of the approaches and add value to the substantial efforts already under way within individual universities.

“UCU remains of its view that it wants the collective of the employers to move on all four areas in order that they might move to settle their dispute. UCEA listened to UCU’s views regarding the 2019 pay position but explained that the 147 universities had just been re-consulted and had again confirmed that they gave UCEA no collective mandate to improve further on the above-inflation* final pay offer that was made in April 2019. It was agreed that a further meeting would be organised for early in the new year.

“UCEA very much hopes that the outcomes of this dialogue on the three important areas of gender/ethnicity pay gaps, workload and casual employment, alongside all that universities are doing, will be seen by UCU members as a route to resolving the current dispute without damaging the collective bargaining arrangements.”

*The official measure of inflation, CPIH, has been at 1.5% for the last months and was at 1.7% in August, the date of implementation of the 2019 pay point uplifts. The final pay offer at the end of the negotiations was for increases on pay points of between 3.65% and 1.8%. Over half of the employees covered by the negotiations – and two thirds of academics - was also eligible to receive a pay progression increase bringing their pay increase in the last year to around 4.8%.

For further information please contact: Andy Fryer, Head of Communications and Membership  ( or Marc Whittaker, Communications and Events Manager ( on 020 7383 2444.