Dear Colleagues,

The first higher education pay meeting with the national employers organisation UCEA was held on 22 March 2016, at which UNISON and other unions presented the joint trade union claim. UNISON’s representatives made strong representations on behalf of members. We argued for a significant pay rise and an uplift for the lowest paid based on the Foundation Living Wage rates.  At the meeting UNISON rejected the employer’s ‘opening’ offer of 1% and called for them to make an improved offer at the next negotiating meeting.

At this first meeting we were informed that UCU had already unilaterally written to all Vice Chancellors putting forward key issues for its members, declaring that if their demands were not met by the 30th March UCU would register a dispute with the employers. UCU have now begun the process of balloting their members for industrial action, before we have had further negotiations and received a final offer. Their ballot will run from 14 April 2016 to 4 May 2016

UNISON will continue to negotiate on behalf of our members and press UCEA for an improved pay offer that recognises the increased costs of living experienced by all staff at the next meeting scheduled for 28 April 2016. In line with UNISON HE conference policy we will consult branches and members once we have a ‘full and final’ offer from employers.

Best wishes,

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Donna Rowe-Merriman

Senior National Officer

Education and Children’s Services