Too Long Didn’t Read…(One and a half to three and a half per cent ish, UNITE Members voted to reject, Employers implementing it anyway. Unions now in dispute…figures here https://uniteuoc.org.uk/pay-spine-21-22/ …watch this space.)
Our joint union pay claim for this year was for a pay uplift of £2500 on all pay points and an increase in all pay-related allowances including London weighting and an additional uplift at the lower end of the pay spine to address pay compression. This claim reflects that pay in higher education is falling behind public sector pay.
This would provide for a minimum of £10 per hour wage for all contract types. The Unions also called for all universities to become Living Wage Foundation accredited employers ensuring that outsourced workers receive, at least, the Living Wage Foundation rate of pay. The pay claim also called for a maximum sector-wide pay ratio of 10:1 which is not limited to the national pay spine (i.e. covers all employees including staff on senior pay rates).
The pay claim asked the employers to address the increasing workloads of staff, address the gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps, end zero-hour contracts and further look at bringing outsourced staff back in house. We also asked our employers to address the unfairness that many Universities have a 37 or 39 hour week. There should be a 35 hour week for all university staff without loss of pay. Staff working in Higher Education have suffered a pay freeze over the last year and below inflation pay rises in recent years which means our pay is not keeping pace with the cost of living; 50% of Unite members frequently work longer than their contracted hours; 72% of members experience work place stress and 50% rate staff morale as bad or terrible.
Response from the Powers That Be
In respect of the uplift to the pay spine, UCEA’s offer is for an increase in the paybill of 1.6 percent, which is a substantial additional investment of £164 million in round terms. Our proposal for the structure of the award is set out in the appendix to this letter. The uplift would be graded in such a way as to award increases of between 1.54 percent and 3.6 percent for pay points below Spine Point 22, with an increase of 1.5 percent to all pay points at Spine Point 22 or above. Furthermore, employers would want us to note that around half of the staff covered by the negotiations are also eligible for additional progression pay increases ranging from 1.5 percent to 3 percent. We have listened carefully to the arguments made by the union side. We hope that you will recognise that as a result there was a significant improvement upon our opening offer and that we moved twice over the course of this negotiating round. The structure of the uplift would enable HEIs to meet the Voluntary Living Wage rate of £9.50 an hour at a 35-hour week. It would also ensure an uplift on all Spine Points above the current rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH, 1.0 percent, March 2021).
Result of the consultative ballot
The result of the ballot was 28% accept 72% reject. Unite has lodged a formal dispute with UCEA under Annex A Dispute Resolution Procedure of the New JNCHES Agreement 2013.
Implementation of the 2021-22 uplift to the pay spine I am writing to inform you that the UCEA will be writing to the HEIs participating in the 2021-22 New JNCHES pay round to advise them to implement the pay uplift contained in our full and final offer. You will be aware that the final offer on the pay uplift was made at our New JNCHES meeting on 6 May. Although formal disputes were not lodged by the unions until late June and early July, UCEA fully respects the unions’ internal decision-making processes. However, having now concluded the Disputes Resolution procedure, the UCEA Board is of the view that it is appropriate to recommend to the participating employers that they implement our final offer, including the pay element, at the earliest opportunity. Failing to implement the uplift as early as possible would result in an unnecessary delay in pay increases for employees, including those on the lowest pay points, for whom the base pay uplifts are worth up to 3.6 percent. UCEA fully acknowledges that the pay round unfortunately remains without a settlement. However, as we made clear throughout the round, we feel that our full and final offer on the pay uplift is both fair and sustainable. It also fully exhausts the available mandate as indicated by the sector and agreed by the UCEA Board, recognising that the nature of collective bargaining entails a reasonable compromise across the diversity of employers. While we continue to seek a settlement to the 2021-22 New JNCHES pay round including the non-pay elements of your claim, and remain willing to maintain channels for constructive dialogue, it must be on the basis of this fair offer which is already at the limits of affordability for many institutions.
In a nutshell
The Universities are pleading poverty. The unions claim otherwise. Members have rejected the pay offer, The Uni’s have held firm. The next move is up to us. Are we going to take industrial action? Or are we going to leave it for another year? Whatever you think PLEASE vote if and when we ballot for this…
Find out more
This is edited info out of a lot of documents. If you want to see the big picture, lots of other stuff on the table as well as pay, have look at the link below;
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