Royal Northern College of Music and UNISON sign historic agreement as staff prepare to strike 

College staff will be relieved to learn that their interests will be championed by UNISON from now on.

An agreement has been signed by the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) and UNISON that will give employees the right to be represented by unions.

The deal, signed by the union’s general secretary Christina McAnea, allows UNISON and the University and College Union to negotiate with college managers on behalf of staff about pay and their working conditions.

The agreement comes as RNCM staff represented by UNISON prepare to strike over pay on dates due to be announced later this month. ​

Royal Northern College of Music employees were offered a 3% wage rise, which is nowhere near enough to bridge the chasm opening up between pay and the cost of living, says UNISON.

UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “College staff will be relieved to learn that their interests will be championed by UNISON from now on, especially as they face massive cost of living pressures.

“Unions are undoubtedly a force for good, ensuring better working relations, higher pay and improved productivity. The RNCM deserves credit for signing this landmark agreement and investing in its workforce.”

UNISON North West regional organiser Katie Doyle said: “RNCM’s recognition of UNISON is to be welcomed. After a long-running campaign, staff will now have a strong collective voice when negotiating with college managers.

“But that hasn’t stopped staff belonging to UNISON from voting in favour of industrial action after receiving a shockingly low pay offer. That’s why the recognition agreement is absolutely critical, so staff and employers can have productive talks despite their differences.

“Higher education employers must make a serious pay offer so staff can concentrate on delivering for students.”

Notes to editors:  
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Media contacts:
Katie Doyle E: M: 07908 143332
Liz Chinchen E: M: 07778 158175