Higher education members are beginning a ballot for strike action after the employers failed to improve a 1.1% pay offer for the majority of staff.
UNISON’s higher education service group executive is recommending that members vote ‘yes’ for strike action in the vote, which runs until 19 September. Members will receive their ballot papers in the coming days.
Last week, with the union’s ballot in the offing, the employers produced an expanded draft offer, but there was very little change in the detail and no movement on the 1.1% pay offer.
UNISON has labeled reports that the employers’ negotiating body has recommended to universities that they should pay staff the current offer as provocative and unnecessary – particularly given the employers’ stated commitment to keep channels open for dialogue.
The union’s head of education Jon Richards said: “Higher education members will see through this attempt to influence the vote over industrial action on this miserly offer. In fact, it once more highlights just how little the offer is worth for the majority of staff”.
UNISON has outlined the growing pay inequality in the sector and has produced a salary calculator that clearly shows how far behind wages have fallen behind the cost of living.
Unions have been in dispute with the employers since negotiations concluded.
The draft offer on the University and Colleges Employers’ Association website includes plans to tackle the gender pay gap and to deal with the problems of casualisation among the workforce, but there is no movement on the 1.1% pay offer.