UCEA’s full and final pay offer now needs to be considered by all

26 January 2023
UCEA’s full and final pay offer now needs to be considered by all
UCEA and the HE trade unions met yesterday (25 January 2023) as New JNCHES for the third and final meeting of the HE pay negotiating round for 2023-24*. This concluding pay meeting came more than three months in advance of the usual pay talks timetable, with HE institutions and trade unions fully recognising the urgent inflationary pressures currently facing all staff.

UCEA, representing 144 participating HE employers, made a full and final pay offer of between 8% and 5%. This offer prioritises the disproportionate effect of high inflation falling on the lower paid but still with a minimum of 5% for all other members of staff.

This offer is the highest uplift in nearly 20 years offered in New JNCHES negotiations, and recognises the current cost pressures faced by both employees and employers. The intention is for between 3.2% and 2% to be paid with effect from 1 February while the remaining uplift will come from 1 August, as is the usual timetable. 

In addition, around half of staff will be eligible for an increment up to a value of 3%, on top of the pay award. 
The talks and final pay offer did not yet include other key issues, including the desire from all to reduce the gender, ethnicity, disability and intersectional pay gaps. We have agreed with the trade unions that these will be discussed in separate talks. UCEA and its HEIs are committed to this final offer for 2023-24 despite UCU’s attempt to continue industrial action over last year’s closed pay uplift. 

Professor George Boyne, Chair of UCEA, said: 
“Following detailed conversations, consultations and considered negotiations we have made a full and final pay offer that will be financially challenging for the majority of our HE institutions. But employers did permit us to accelerate this process and push the pay packet to the sector’s limits, and that is what we have done. Clearly the difficult inflationary costs are a joint concern for employees and employers alike but, recognising how inflation disproportionately affects lower paid staff, employers committed to implementing a proportion of this award six months early. Employers have looked beyond recent and ongoing disputes relating to a closed previous round to commit to arriving at the best available outcome for staff in such testing times. We urge the trade unions to now consult their individual members in carefully considering this detailed final offer to allow of the interim pay uplift to reach staff as soon as possible.” 

Raj Jethwa, UCEA’s Chief Executive added:
“The sector will now urge trade unions to consult their members over this full and final pay offer rather than push them into striking that tries to target students. HE institutions urge trade union leaders to provide their own members with a realistic and fair assessment of what is achievable, before giving them the chance to accept or refuse a pay offer that genuinely attempts to address cost of living pressures.”

* The negotiating meeting dates for 2023-24 are as follows:
  • Tuesday 13 December 2022/Monday 9 January 2023
  • Monday 16 January 2023
  • Wednesday 25 January 2023


The trade unions’ headline pay claim is for ‘a pay uplift that is, at least, inflation (RPI) plus 2%, on all pay points’. www.ucea.ac.uk/our-work/collective-pay-negotiations-landing/2023-24-new-jnches-pay-round/

JNCHES - Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff. 
The five HE trade unions are EIS, GMB, UCU, UNISON and Unite.

For further information: Please contact Andy Fryer, Head of Communications and Membership (a.fryer@ucea.ac.uk) or Marc Whittaker, Communications and Events Manager (m.whittaker@ucea.ac.uk)