UNISON’s higher education members have voted overwhelmingly to accept a pay offer that will see thousands of low-paid university staff receive the living wage of £7.65p per hour (£8.80p in London) and end a long-running pay dispute in the sector.
Following a period of consultation, 89% of UNISON members voted to accept the offer, with 11% voting to reject.
UNISON’s higher education service group executive met on 30 May 2014 to consider the outcome of the branch consultation.
The executive agreed to accept the full and final settlement for 2014-15 and will end the current dispute with the employers.
The agreement is set to benefit staff in more than 150 universities across the UK.
The executive thanked UNISON members for their participation in three days of strike action against low pay – this has lead to the living wage becoming a reality for some of the lowest-paid staff in the sector, as well as a 2% salary increase for all staff across all pay points for 2014-15.
UNISON will continue its campaign for fair pay in higher education and for universities to become living wage-accredited employers.
Members of staff delivering the student experience and supporting students in higher education deserve to share in the continuing success of the sector.
The union will continue to campaign for future pay settlements to address the increasing costs of living for our members, while work is also continuing to address important issues such as the gender pay gap and the growing casualisation in the sector as a result of this year’s pay settlement.
UNISON head of education Jon Richards said: “Today represents a significant milestone in our campaign to end to the pay freeze in higher education, but our fight will not end here.
“UNISON will continue its campaign for all universities to become living wage accredited employers and for our members to share in the success of the sector.”