Fair pay in universities

Conference believes that there is an inherent unfairness in the way in which our universities are being run, and the way in which the most senior staff are being rewarded whilst UNISON members and staff working in support services are paying the price. Recent research in the Guardian revealed that among 17 university heads who […]

Member-led Democracy

UNISON takes pride in being a member-led, democratic union. It is in this spirit that conference notes with concern the decision taken by our Higher Education Service Group Executive (HESGE) to overturn the democratic decision taken by our members in the 2016 ballot over pay. This decision also overturned the mandate set at this conference […]

Higher Education workers deserve fair pay

Conference notes that members in Higher Education have lost the equivalent of between £1,585 and £8,248 over the last six years, while at the same time having to deliver a professional service despite severe cuts, redundancies, reorganisations and increased workloads. Members continue to carry out their duties even though their pay has failed to keep […]

Closer Working with Students’ Unions

Conference notes the vital importance of expanding the spirit and ethos of trade unionism amongst students. To this end, as a highly politically sensitive area of the union, we need to foster closer relations with students unions through the UK. Students, as a group of ‘consumers’, need to realise that with increased tuition fees, they […]

Assessing the value of the Race Equality Charter Mark for Black staff and students in Public Services/Higher Education

Conference, the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) piloted a Race Equality Charter Mark with the aim to inspire a strategic approach to making cultural and systemic changes that will make a real difference to Black staff and students. The Charter covered: a)Professional and support staff b)Academic staff c)Student attainment, diversity of the curriculum and progression of […]

Higher Education deserves Fair Pay

Conference notes that Higher Education pay and conditions continue to erode following the year on year meagre pay offer from UCEA (Universities and Colleges Employers Association). We know that Universities budget for a figure higher than what is eventually offered by the UCEA negotiators. UK Universities have been described by the Tory Chancellor as the […]

New ways of working and reasonable adjustments

Conference notes that government cuts mean employers are looking for new ways of working to save money without cutting jobs. Often referred to as Lean or Agile Working, these methods were developed by Toyota and are predominantly used in manufacturing industries. If implemented correctly they can bring financial savings and improve working conditions. While we […]

LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) staff working overseas

Conference recognises over the last 10 years there has been a massive growth in UK University’s opening overseas facilities, UK Universities are also increasingly involved in offshore campus partnerships. Conference believes that working overseas can be beneficial, both professionally and personally, for the members involved and can provide a new and challenging context for teaching, […]

Impact of restructuring and outsourcing on young workers

This conference believes that recent restructurings (such as at Middlesex University which has seen the creation of centralised student services, combining the services from 4 campuses into one) and outsourcing exercises, mean that many ‘entry-level’ jobs are severely reduced or disappear altogether. It is also often the case that these jobs are the first to […]

Excessive Workloads

Conference notes that in this current climate of Government cuts resulting in a reduction to services and jobs, professional support staff are experiencing many challenges within the workforce. Since 2008 government funding cuts have become more savage; ministers have publicly called for more to be done for less across the entire public sector and specifically […]

Low proportion of Black people in Senior Management Positions in Higher Education

Conference notes that in the UK there are 168 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Research conducted by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) reports that Black people represents 8.6 per cent of higher education academic staff and 6.9 per cent of professional support staff. Conference is aware that in the UK the Higher Education context has changed […]

Privatisation and Shared Services in Higher Education

Conference notes the continued promotion of shared services and privatisation of higher education by the Coalition Government. Evidence from the outsourcing and marketisation of public services suggests that in many cases additional costs are incurred and, increasingly, public sector organisations are looking to in-source services in order to achieve greater efficiency and better value for […]

Disability Leave and Attendance Policies

Conference is concerned that some Higher Education (HE) institutions are still failing to implement Disability leave Policies, despite this being offered as an example of a reasonable adjustment in the Code of Practice relating to the employment provisions of the Equality Act 2010. Redundancies and cuts in the Higher Education sector are at an all […]

Equality Impact Assessments

Conference is concerned that Universities are failing to carry out Equality Impact Assessments (EIA). Although no longer a statutory duty, as part of good employer/employee relations, it is vital that this process is undertaken to expose any detrimental effect HE cuts and redundancies are having on disabled employees. However, the process needs to be meaningful […]