HE pay ballot

Stand up for decent pay and decent jobs

UNISON members working in higher education are to be asked to vote for strike action over pay in a national ballot starting in September.

Members voted to reject the employers’ final pay offer in a 6-week consultative ballot which closed on 1 July. The offer means most staff would see a pay increase of just 1.8% – well below inflation. Two thirds of members who voted on the offer rejected it.

UNISON’s higher education service group executive has agreed to:

  • enter into a formal dispute with University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA);
  • start a formal industrial action ballot, opening in September;
  • “campaign in solidarity with the other higher education trade unions to seek an improvement on the pay offer for 2019-20”.

The offer from the UCEA failed to meet any of the aspects of the joint unions’ pay claim. The employers’ decision to impose last year’s final  pay offer in August “caused serious concern and breached the good faith in which the unions enter negotiations.”

More information on the national ballot will follow shortly.

What was our pay claim?

UNISON pushed hard for a decent pay rise for our members in higher education. Along with the other HE unions, our pay claim was for:

  • a rise of RPI plus 3%, or a minimum increase of £3,349
  • £10 per hour minimum rate of pay
  • All universities to become accredited by the Living Wage Foundation
  • A 35 hour working week
  • Action to close the gender and ethnicity pay gaps
  • Action to reduce excessive workloads and combat stress

The employers’ offer

University employers won’t stump up. Their offer falls short, with the majority of HE staff being offered a rise of 1.8%, and lower paid staff offered between 1.82% and 3.65%. Check the pay award for your spinal column point in the final pay offer.

Use our pay calculator below to see how much pay you’ve lost over the last ten years, and find your university on our map to see what your VC is paid, whether your employer is Living Wage accredited, and what its standard support staff contract is.

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Find your university

Tip: Use the magnifying glass to search for your university

  • VC pay refers to the total remuneration of the head of provider for 2017/18 based on Office for Students’ data.
  • Living Wage accreditation is based on the Living Wage Foundation’s employer lists.
  • Support staff weekly hours equates to the standard full-time contract for support staff within that university/HEI

Check your pay