A UCEA spokesperson said:
“Universities are deeply disappointed to see UCU trying to press ahead with their HE Committee’s plans for extensive strike action. UCEA has offered UCU further informal talks and urges the union’s leaders to reconsider pursuing damaging strike action at less than half of universities, damaging students, staff and their own members – who are yet to be consulted over the new positive proposals* that are on the table. These proposals address the important issues around employment in universities, focusing on casual employment, workload / mental health and gender pay gaps / ethnicity pay.
“These proposals followed exhaustive, but always constructive, dialogue with UCU over the last two months and with the other trade unions** over the past year. UCEA has listened carefully and engaged with all 147 of the 2019-20 participating universities in developing a raft of statements and actions. We have sought to reflect the importance of these employment issues to employees, trade unions and universities alike.
“An added concern is that UCEA is currently consulting universities about their participation in the coming 2020-21 JNCHES negotiating round. UCU’s planned disruptive actions may also damage the ability to conduct the national multi-employer pay negotiations in JNCHES for pay uplifts from 1 August 2020.
“UCEA has consulted all of its members in presenting these positive proposals. UCU is urged to consult all of its members in presenting these positive proposals to them.”
**UCU, UNISON, Unite, GMB, EIS
While UCU and the other unions’ have also continued to press for higher pay increases from the 2019 pay round, UCEA has been clear throughout that the position of the 147 collective employers remains unchanged and that it has no scope to re-open negotiations on the pay outcome. The outcome implemented from August 2019 has provided for above inflation increases for all colleagues with considerably more for the more than half of employees also in receipt of progression pay and for those paid on the lower points.
For further information please contact: Andy Fryer, Head of Communications and Membership (email@example.com) or Marc Whittaker, Communications and Events Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org) on 020 7383 2444.