University unions and employers meet on pay

First negotiations see the employers agree that there needs to be a rise in pay for hard-working higher education staff

UNISON higher education logo

The national negotiating committee for higher education staff (New JNCHES) met yesterday for the first time this year, to negotiate on higher education pay for 2021/22.

The trade unions presented their joint claim and pressed the Universities and Colleges Employers’ Association (UCEA) for progress to be made on all elements.

The New JNCHES committee is composed of the five higher education trade unions – UNISON, UCU, Unite, GMB and EIS – along with UCEA, which represents university employers in the UK.

UCEA spoke on behalf of sector employers in the joint statement, acknowledging that there needs to be a pay rise in these negotiations, which will continue at meetings on 14 April and 6 May.

UNISON senior national officer Ruth Levin said: “The pay freeze in the current year – which in reality means a cut to the value of wages – has been rejected by all unions. The joint unions are calling on the employers to engage in meaningful negotiations this year to ensure that higher education staff receive the pay uplift that is needed and deserved.

“Those staff have got universities through the pandemic and are continuing to work harder than ever before under more difficult circumstances – the employers need to recognise this.”

The full HE pay claim for 2021/22 can be found here [PDF].