HE pay consultation

Fancy a 0% pay rise?

That’s right – after thinking long and hard about it, university employers are offering hard-working university staff absolutely no pay rise at all this year. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Thanks for nothing.

It’s an insulting figure at the best of times, let alone when staff have spent the year bending over backwards to keep services running safely and efficiently.

From keeping campuses cleaner than ever before, to making high quality remote learning a reality; from supporting vulnerable students, to planning programmes and finances when everything’s up in the air – university staff simply could not have given more to their jobs.

And you’ll know better than anyone that universities are crucial to getting us through this pandemic. Our country urgently needs a well-funded HE sector run by a properly paid workforce to keep training key workers, carrying out vital research and contributing billions to our economy.

Not only did HE staff not get an offer on pay, even the offer on pay-related elements fell short.

Now it’s your chance to tell university employers – and the government – exactly what you think of this pay freeze and force them to think again about what you’re owed.

Voting to reject the 0% pay offer in UNISON’s online consultation is your way of standing up to say you’d be prepared to take part in separate, sustained industrial action at your university to get the pay rise you deserve.

The consultation opened on 3 November and closed on 30 November.

FAQs for members

When does the consultation open and how long is it open for?

The consultation opens on Tuesday 3 November and closes on Monday 30 November at 5pm.

Is my vote anonymous?

Yes. Our systems are completely secure, and your vote is anonymous. Also, you can only vote once – so we’ll know that the results of the consultation are accurate.

How do I vote?

If we have your email address and permission to email you, you’ll receive an email on 3 November with a personal link to vote. If you don’t receive it, you can vote using our online form. All you need is your membership number or national insurance number, date of birth and surname.

No voting email received? Vote here

I don’t seem to be receiving emails from UNISON – how can I check you have the right contact details?

It’s so important that we have an up to date email address, phone number and home address for all our members. That means we can get in touch with you about issues that affect your job, like this pay consultation.

You can check and update your details and the permissions you give UNISON to contact you using MyUNISON. And if you haven’t yet registered on MyUNISON you can register here.

I’m not a member of UNISON – if I join will I get a vote?

Yes. If you join UNISON by Monday 16 November you’ll be sent an email before the consultation closes inviting you to cast your vote.

Why are you running a consultation?

Every year after the national pay negotiations, we ask members for their views on the final offer.

If this consultation delivers a strong vote to reject, that will send a strong message to employers and to the government. And if necessary it means we may be in a position to move to a formal industrial action ballot, in which the government’s Trade Union Act requires 50% of members to respond.

How will the campaign go forward?

A vote to reject the pay freeze means that you are prepared to take part in separate, sustained and escalating industrial action at your university. After members have voted and the consultation has closed, the higher education service group executive (SGE) will meet to consider the outcome of the consultation and how to build the campaign to secure a better pay deal for everyone in HE. Branches will be kept up to date with developments.

Was the employer’s offer just about pay??

No – the joint union pay claim sought to bring about improvements in workload, career development, pay gaps, casualisation, outsourced workers and setting up devolved HE talks in Scotland.

Whilst the employers have offered some joint work on some of these elements, the higher education service group executive (a committee of the members elected to represent you in UNISON) was disappointed that the offer does not make a clear commitment that will lead to action and change.

Resources for branches