Higher education pay dispute enters new talks

Rising together for better pay

UNISON has welcomed the decision by university employers to enter negotiations to resolve disruptive strike action currently affecting 150 universities. 

UNISON and the four other higher education unions (UCU, EIS, GMB and Unite) and employer representative the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), have agreed to further talks mediated by the conciliation service Acas. 

The talks will begin on Monday 13 February.  

Acas mediated talks are intended to address the issues in dispute, which include pay, equality, job insecurity and workloads.  

The current industrial action has not been postponed. 

Senior national officer for higher education Ruth Smith said: “We are pleased the employers have agreed to enter the Acas process in order to try and resolve our dispute.

“The union has been clear, we need an offer that addresses the hardship that the current cost of living crisis has caused for our members, who are amongst the lowest paid workers in universities.

“We haven’t had that yet. The sector has more than enough money to pay and treat people fairly, and employers have the power to do so.

“Our members led the way in this dispute by going out on strike at the start of the academic year in September 2022, and are still out this week and next.

“Members don’t want to take strike action, but they have be left with no option. We hope that these new talks at Acas can help convince the employers to do the right thing and make a decent pay offer.”

UNISON members are currently out on strike in the following places:

  • Birkbeck (University of London): 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 February
  • City University (University of London): 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 February
  • Glasgow Caledonian University: 6 (all members), 7, 8, 9, 10 February (rest of week selected job titles: Security Officers, Security Supervisors, Domestic Supervisors, Domestic Assistants)
  • Glasgow School of Art: 16, 21, 22 February
  • Leeds Beckett University: 8, 9, 10 February
  • Liverpool Hope University: 16 February
  • London South Bank University: 21, 22 February
  • Manchester Met University: 6, 7, 8 February
  • Queen Margaret University: 21, 22, 23 February
  • School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London): 1, 9, 10, 21 February
  • University of Brighton: 16, 17, 20, 21 February
  • University of Bristol: 16, 17, 22 February
  • University of Gloucestershire: 14, 15, 16 February
  • University of Leeds: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 22, 23, 24 February
  • University of the West of England: 14, 15, 16 February
  • University of Winchester: 21, 22, 23 February