Reject the 1.1% pay offer

Ballot closes
19 September

The union’s higher education service group executive met on 20 September to discuss the results of the industrial action ballot on the 2016/17 national pay offer.

A long and considered discussion took place, which took into account the close vote in the ballot, a disappointing turnout and the knowledge that it was likely that if UNISON did take strike action it would not be with all other unions ,due to notable differences in positions and timetables.

Joint union action has been key to previous successful action.

Taking this into account it was reluctantly agreed that UNISON would not take industrial action on this occasion.

The service group executive felt that the ballot results and views from regions meant that the union could not deliver a sufficiently strong strike to force the employers to improve their derisory pay offer.

UNISON is committed to national pay bargaining and will continue to campaign to improve members pay, terms and conditions in higher education.

Further discussions will take place at UNISON’s forthcoming higher education branch seminar, which will also focus on the need to build membership and engage members in future industrial ballots.


Higher ed executive decides against industrial action in pay campaign

‘UNISON is committed to national pay bargaining and will continue to campaign to improve members’ pay, terms and conditions’ says SGE

How much have higher education workers lost?

UNISON launches ‘salary loss calculator’ for UK university staff ahead of September’s industrial action ballot

Our education system is under sustained attack from Theresa May’s government

If this Tory government really cared about making our country fairer and more prosperous then decent pay for education workers would be one of their top priorities.

The Higher Education and Research Bill will inhibit the life chances of a generation

UNISON has written to MPs to express deep concern about the Higher Education and Research Bill, which is having its second reading in Parliament today.

HE members to be balloted on action over pay

Summer ballot will see members asked to vote for strike to improve university employers’ 1.1% offer

The facts

The stark facts

  • the average pay rise for university vice-chancellors last year was 6.1% and the average salary for a vice-chancellor or principal is a whopping £272,000.
  • the number of staff earning over £100,000 has risen to over 5,000.
  • A UNISON investigation has revealed that nearly £200m was spent on agency workers in the last year – an increase of 62% since 2011.
  • 12,000 university staff are still not paid the independently calculated Living wage of £8.25 (£9.40 in London).
  • More than 8,000 support staff have zero hours contracts – not knowing if they will have any wages from week to week.
  • Universities have record surpluses and billions in their bank accounts and there are record student numbers and record investment in new buildings and facilities.

University staff deserve a pay rise

UNISON is balloting its members in higher education on industrial action on pay because they believe they deserve a decent pay rise. And this pay offer isn’t good enough.

The full pay offer from the employers

What are other unions doing?

UCU balloted their members and most of their branches have taken three days strike action. They are looking to escalate strike action in the autumn term

Unite are going to ballot their members for strike action on a similar timescale to UNISON.

EIS are going to ballot their members for industrial action on a similar timescale to UNISON.

GMB have not registered a dispute.


Are you eligible to vote?

To take part in this ballot you must be a UNISON member directly employed by a higher education institution that takes part in national negotiations on pay and conditions.

You are not eligible if you are employed by another company working on behalf of the institution.

If you are unsure if you are eligible to vote or not you can ask your UNISON branch secretary.

Find my branch secretary

Or call UNISON higher education ballot helpline between 5th September and noon 15th September.

0800 0 857 857