UCEA offers positive proposals to conclude pay round and end UCU’s dispute

28 January 2020

UCEA has presented a range of positive proposals to address important issues around employment in universities, focusing on casual employment, workload / mental health and gender pay gaps / ethnicity pay. This follows two months of constructive dialogue with UCU and national negotiations with all the trade unions* that began in March 2019. 
UCEA has listened carefully and engaged with all 147 of the 2019-20 participating HE institutions in developing a raft of statements and actions. We have sought to reflect the importance of these employment issues to employees, trade unions and HE institutions alike.

The result of this process is the ‘Without Prejudice’ modified offer, passed to the trade unions on 27 January. The proposals clearly demonstrate UCEA going a great deal further than ever before as a national employer body but doing so with the support and commitment of its autonomous member HE institutions. 

All HE sector employers want to provide work environments where all people feel valued, treated fairly and with respect and it is HE institutions as autonomous employers and distinctive institutions that hold the responsibility to develop solutions relevant to their specific circumstances. The proposals therefore set out a series of expectations of HE institutions around the three topics, a lot of which are already happening in institutions. The proposals make clear that employees and their representatives should be included and listened to. Therefore, we hope and expect that all the trade unions will decide now to consult with their members on this revised offer as a potential basis for conclusion of the 2019-20 JNCHES round.

Helen Fairfoul, UCEA’s Chief Executive, said: 

“Over the past decade I have never seen UCEA given the scope we have taken here to present such extensive proposals on behalf of our members. This follows exhaustive, but always constructive, dialogue with UCU over the last two months and with the other trade unions over the past year. We really feel now that all trade union members deserve to be consulted over what is on the table. I genuinely hope that this positive work offered on important issues will be seen as an opportunity to conclude last year’s 2019-20 JNCHES pay round and enable us to move constructively into the imminent 2020-21 round.”  




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  (a.fryer@ucea.ac.uk) or Marc Whittaker, Communications and Events Manager (m.whittaker@ucea.ac.uk) on 020 7383 2444.