Higher education staff reject 1.5% pay offer

The pay offer keeps up with inflation, but does not catch up with pay lost to HE staff over the past ten years

UNISON higher education logo

UNISON’s higher education service group executive have met and rejected the final pay offer made by HE national employers UCEA.

Earlier this year, UNISON joined other education unions to submit a claim for a £2,500 increase, and a minimum wage of £10 per hour, or £10.85 for people in London.

The final pay offer made by UCEA is a 1.5% increase for the majority of HE staff. HE staff on lower pay points have been offered higher percentage increases on a sliding scale, between 1.54% and 3.6%.

The pay offer would mean that the lowest pay point would be equivalent to the current foundation living wage rate of £9.50, and only for those working a 35-hour week. It fell far short of the claim for a £2,500 increase and was silent on seeking a 35-hour working week for all, on a Scottish sub-committee and on tackling outsourcing.

UNISON national officer Ruth Levin said: “Whilst this pay offer finally brings the pay freeze to an end, it simply doesn’t go far enough to address the loss in value of the wages of higher education staff working so hard to keep their universities going.”

Those working on the lowest pay points who work more than 35 hours per week will still earn less than the foundation living wage rates.

The employers offered joint national work on career development, tackling the gender, ethnic and disability pay gaps, workload management and the impact of COVID, pay spine compression and redeployment.

You can read the final offer in full here.