Union disputes 2022-23


On 20 July, following the conclusion of the dispute resolution process, UCEA wrote to the 145 HEIs participating in the pay round to advise them to implement the final offer, with effect from 1 August 2022. The uplift amounts to up to 9% for staff on the lowest spine points, and an increase of 3% for staff on or above spine point 20.

Positions of the five trade unions


In October 2022 UCU secured a mandate for industrial action in the form of strike action and action short of strike (ASOS) in its aggregated ballots at 150 HEIs in relation to the New JNCHES 2022-23 pay outcome and USS disputes. UCU's mandate was based on a turnout of 57.8% of its members in the New JNCHES dispute and a turnout of 60.2% of it members in the USS dispute based on a turnout of 60.2% of its members. Those mandates expire on 20 April 2023.

On 3 November 2022 UCU announced strike action and in respect of the New JNCHES 2022-23 pay and USS disputes as follows:

Strike action: three days of strike action on Thursday 24 November, Friday 25 November and Wednesday 30 November 2022.

ASOS: In November 2022 UCU served notice on all forms of ASOS listed in their ballot paper with the exception of a marking and assessment boycott. The ASOS is continuous and started from 18 November in Northern Ireland, and from 23 November in Great Britain.

The forms of ASOS are:

  • Working to contract.
  • Not undertaking any voluntary activities.
  • Not covering for absent colleagues.
  • Not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action.
  • Removing uploaded materials related to, and/or not sharing materials related to, lecturers or classes that will be or have been cancelled as a result of strike action.

On 6 January 2023 UCU served notice of its intention to start continuous ASOS in the form of a marking and assessment boycott to start on 23 January 2023. UCU subsequently withdrew its notice for a marking and assessment boycott on 16 January.

On 12 January 2023, following its HEC meeting, UCU announced a further 18 days of strike action to take place in February and March, a re-ballot of members at 150 HEIs and a possible marking and assessment boycott in April. In total, UCU have given notice of 18 days discontinuous strike action across February and March 2023 on the following dates:

Wednesday, 1 February – one day
Thursday, 9 February and Friday, 10 February – two days
Tuesday, 14 February, Wednesday 15 February and Thursday 16 February – three days
Tuesday 21 February, Wednesday 22 February and Thursday 23 February – three days - strike action paused due to period of calm (see Joint statement 2023/24 New JNCHES pay negotiations)
Monday 27 February, Tuesday 28 February, Wednesday 1 March and Thursday 2 March – four days -  strike action paused due to period of calm
Thursday 16 March and Friday 17 March – two days
Monday 20 March, Tuesday 21 March and Wednesday 22 March 2023 – three days

Following a decision at UCU's HEC on 24 February, UCU sent notices of an additional day's strike action on 15 March in addition to their existing strike action days scheduled to take place above.

On 21 February 2023, UCU launched two aggregated re-ballots for strike action and ASOS at 146 HEIs - the list of institutions affected by the strike action and re-ballots is available on UCU’s website at www.ucu.org.uk/article/12474/Institutions-being-balloted. The re-ballots closed on 31 March and UCU announced the results on 3 April.

UCU secured a mandate for strike action and ASOS in the New JNCHES pay dispute based on a turnout of 56.4% and for strike action and ASOS in the USS dispute based on a turnout of 58.4%. The new mandates will expire on 30 September 2023. The results, excluding HEIs in Northern Ireland are as follows:

  • 60 HEIs where there is a mandate on pay and USS
  • 81 HEIs where there is a mandate on pay only
  • 5 HEIs where there is mandate on USS only

On 5 April 2023 UCU gave notice of industrial action commencing on 20 April in the form of continuous ASOS listed above and also a marking and assessment boycott (MAB). The mandate for industrial action including the MAB expires on 30 September 2023.

UCU's MAB started on 20 April 2023. UCU called off the MAB on 6 September but announced national strike action in late September 2023 - see link for list of HEIs impacted.

UCEA Letter to Parliamentarians 
UCU’s recent Scores of MPs and Peers condemn brutal university staff pay deductions media release included a link to a letter from Beth Winter, Labour MP for Cynon Valley, to Raj Jethwa, UCEA's Chief Executive which was co-signed by 50 other Parliamentarians. Raj’s response which was sent on the 10 May 2023 can be found below:
 Letter from Raj Jethwa, UCEA to Beth Winter MP


In July UNISON balloted its members for strike action on pay at 94 of the 145 participating HEIs. UNISON won mandates at 22 of the 94 HEIs.  Of the 22 HEIs where UNISON won a mandate, UNISON issued notice of strike action at 16 HEIs (four in Scotland and 12 in England) and settled its dispute in two HEIs. Strikes were called in those 16 HEIs between 20 September and 13 October. The dates varied by HEI, but most of the 16 HEIs had two or three days of action. UNISON announced further strike action at 19 of the HEIs where it already had a mandate and ongoing dispute. Strikes were called between 18 November and 30 November 2022. The dates varied by HEI ranging from between one and seven days of industrial action and mainly coordinated with UCU's strike dates on 24, 25 and 30 November. 

UNISON balloted 36 HEIs over the New JNCHES 2022-23 pay dispute. The ballots opened on 30 November and closed on 21 December 2022. UNISON did not achieve the necessary 50% threshold at the 36 HEIs where it balloted.  UNISON did secure a mandate for strike action at three of the nine HEIs in their re-ballots which closed on 11 January 2023. UNISON re-balloted at a further four institutions and these re-ballots closed on 18 January 2023. While the majority of these ballots were re-ballots of HEIs that UNISON had balloted in August 2022 in respect of the New JNCHES 2022-23 pay dispute, a few of the institutions were balloted for the first time. Following the ballots, UNISON announced strike action at 17 HEIs. The strike dates varied by HEI and ranged from between 2 days and 8 days and were called between 1 February and 24 February 2023. UNISON paused strike action in the weeks commencing 20 February and 27 February due to period of calm  - see UCU above.


Unite's disaggregated ballots for strike action only in relation to the New JNCHES 2022-23 pay round closed on 21 October and resulted in a mandate being secured in five of the 11 balloted Scottish HEIs.
Unite undertook ballots for industrial action at 13 HEIs across England (10), Northern Ireland (2) and Wales (1). The ballots varied across HEIs and opened and closed on different dates between 28 October and 22 November 2022. Unite announced strike action at 10 HEIs,  5 in England and Northern Ireland and 5 in Scotland where they secured a mandate. The strike dates varied by HEI and ranged from between one to five days and were called between 23 November and 15 December 2022. The dates also mainly coordinated with UCU's strike dates. 

Unite announced a further day of strike action at 3 HEIs on 1 February 2023.  Unite paused any industrial action in the weeks commencing 20 February and 27 February on the same basis above as UCU and Unison.


EIS conducted disaggregated ballots for strike action only in relation to the New JNCHES 2022-23 pay round at HEIs in Scotland where it has members closed on 22 October. EIS secured a mandate in three of the seven Scottish HEIs they balloted and called for two days of strike action at the three HEIs where they had a mandate. The strike dates were 24 and 25 November 2022 and coordinated with UCU's strike dates. EIS called for one day of strike action at each of the three Scottish HEIs where they had a mandate on 16 January, 25 January and 27 January 2023 and announced a further six days of strike action at each of the three Scottish HEIs on 1, 14, 15, 27 and 28 February and 1 March  2023. EIS conducted a  disaggregated re-ballot at HEIs in Scotland where it has members  - the re-ballot opened on 10 March and closed on 12 April.


GMB have no industrial action planned.