1) Our Claim
UCU met with the employers, the Universities & Colleges Employers Association (UCEA),
on 22 March.
The meeting was to discuss UCEA’s response to our joint Higher Education trade union pay claim.
To refresh, our claim, submitted on Friday, 11th March was:
A 5% pay increase for all university staff on the national pay scale
At least the living wage for those staff at the bottom of the pay spine
Nationally agreed minimum rates of pay for external examiners
Nationally agreed action for institutions to close the gender pay gap by 2020
Nationally agreed action for institutions to reduce the proportion of their staff on casual and zero hour contracts
To establish a Scottish Sub-Committee of Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff
2) UCEA’s response:
A 1% pay increase
The potential of further joint work on gender pay
The potential of further joint work in regards to casual and zero hour contracts
No agreement on external examiner pay
No agreement to set up the Scottish Sub Committee
3) What Next?
Please note, if our negotiators and Higher Education Committee (HEC) do not consider the employers’ response substantial, we will be in dispute with our employers.
In all likelihood, we will be balloting for strike action and action short of a strike the week commencing 11th April.
Any action would start w/c 23rd May.
The next negotiating meet of UCU (and other trade unions) and UCEA is 28th April. The last opportunity for UCEA to make a substantial offer would be on 19th May.
4) The Facts
The decline in our pay since 2009/10 could be as high as 17.5%.
Lecturers, professional services staff, staff on casual contracts, professors: since 2010 all have seen annual cumulative shortfalls of between £3K and £7K.
The total difference in average pay received by male and female academics is a staggering £1.3 billion per year
Austerity for some? In 2014/15, the average V-C salary was £272K – an average increase of 3% and 6.7 times the average pay of their staff
67% of research staff are still on fixed-term contracts, a third of these are for 12 months or less
Over the last six years capital expenditure in HE has increased by 18.6%, income by 23.9%, surpluses by 125.4% and reserves up by 72.3%
We are working harder and longer than ever!