Campaigning for Proper Funding for Higher Education as a Public Service

Universities are autonomous organisations, delivering higher education and research, with the freedom to manage their own finances, subject to regulation. Each institution is different, with a complex mix of income streams depending on the nature of the students it teaches, the quantity and perceived quality of research it conducts to drive research income, and the […]

Higher Education Pay 2023-4

Higher education pay has fallen behind. Since 2009 our pay has lost around 28% of its value as a result of below inflation cost-of-living rises year on year. The extreme increase in prices during 2022 has brought this to a crisis point, and UNISON members working in Higher Education are facing real hardship as a […]

Make the Real Living Wage the Minimum for Requirements for Pay Agreements

Conference believes that everyone deserves to be paid a real living wage. We call upon the National Higher Education Service Group Executive to ensure that in the next round of The New Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff (JNCHES) negotiations a pay spine is proposed and promoted by UNISON representatives in which the lowest […]

Trial the 4-day work week

Conference believes it is time that Universities actively participated in 4-day work week trials. Universities are centres of research and innovation and many want to be ‘employers of choice’ (employers that people actively want to work for). They are the perfect institutions to try new approaches to work. Findings suggest that a 4-day week enhances […]

Securing the legacy of the year of disabled workers in Higher Education workplaces

Conference notes the success of UNISON’s Year of Disabled Workers 2022. Throughout the year we saw renewed focus on the experience of disabled members in our union, in the workplace and in society, including those in the Higher Education service group. We used the year to highlight the important contribution our disabled members make to […]

Promote UNISON as the union for Higher Education Professional Support Staff

Higher Education professional support staff across the country provide a vital service to our universities and students by carrying out hugely varied roles across our Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), though too often this work is not given the recognition it deserves by employers. UNISON has a brilliant membership benefits package. There are opportunities to promote […]

National Freedom of Information Requests to Strengthen our Campaigns

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) gives people the right to request information from universities. The Act aims to promote a culture of transparency and accountability, and therefore facilitate better understanding of how the universities carry out their duties, why they make the decisions they do, and how they spend public money and that […]

One-off Payment for University Staff

The primary role of UNISON, or any Trade Union, is to use the collective power of its members to deliver lasting and significant improvements to pay, pension rights and working conditions. We cannot help but be mindful of, and worried for the health and wellbeing of our members in HE, facing as they have been […]

Conversion therapy – spread the word

Conversion therapy refers to the practise of attempting to change a person’s sexuality or gender identity. There are many different techniques, both physical and mental, that can include talking therapies and prayer, but more extreme forms can include exorcism, physical violence such as electric shocks and testosterone injections. There is no reliable scientific evidence that […]

Higher Education Role Analysis (HERA)

Conference notes that it has been some years since HERA was introduced as the tool for role analysis in the majority of UK universities as part of the National Framework Agreement. As part of that many UNISON activists were trained and accredited as HERA Role Analysts to support members wishing to have their roles evaluated, […]


CRISIS IN HIGHER EDUCATION INDUSTRIAL ACTION BALLOTING – A PAY STRATEGY THAT CAN AND MUST WIN The Higher Education Sector has reached what appears to be a crisis point regarding balloting for strike action over pay. Neither aggregate nor disaggregate balloting appears to be effective when considering the returns from industrial action ballots in Higher […]

A balloting strategy that works for our members!

Conference notes that since the introduction of the Trade Union Act, our union and the Service Group Executive (SGE) have failed to adapt to the changing dynamics of the need to win 50% turnouts. We have seen successful ballot actions fail to reach the required threshold to undertake lawful industrial action and this has left […]

“Freedom of speech” in higher education

Conference notes that the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill 2021, currently going through the Westminster Parliament, proposes new laws that the government has said are needed to “safeguard” free speech and academic freedom in universities. The bill would mean higher education providers – and student unions – will have a duty to “actively promote” […]

Trans equality in higher education – louder and prouder!

The toxic debate ignited by the United Kingdom government’s consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition Act underlined the importance of our union, including branches in the Higher Education Service Group, supporting and representing our trans members effectively Attacks on trans people escalated further in 2021. Groups trying to roll back the rights of trans people […]

A pay strategy that can and must win

Conference moves that, since the introduction of the Trade Union Act, our union and the Service Group Executive has failed to adapt to the changing dynamics of the need to win 50% turnouts. We have seen ballots fail to reach the required threshold to undertake lawful industrial action and this has created a legacy of […]