Higher education employers have made a “full and final” pay offer of 2%, with a minimum pay point equal to the living wage, following pay talks with the unions.

UNISON’s higher education service group executive will meet on 23 April to discuss the consultation with members on the 2014/15 offer and the dispute over 2013/14 pay read more









Click here to read the Joint Higher Education Trade Union Pay Claim 2014/15


branch in action 22 Jan





UNISON along with UCU and EIS have announced a further 1 day national strike for the 6 February 2014 in response to the HE employers refusal to improve their inadequate 1% pay offer. Unite are currently undertaking further consultation. The growing inequality in pay in higher education between senior managers and the workforce as a whole has been under the spotlight in the run-up to further strike action.

Universities are refusing to make a decent pay offer, despite holding huge cash reserves, which are predicted to continue for the next few years by the Higher Education Funding Council, which describes university finances as being “sound overall”.

UNISON Branches up and down the country will be protesting next week to highlight the inequality within the sector, as well as the added value that employees contribute to the student experience.

UNISON’s National Secretary Jon Richards said “ Universities are keen to proclaim their success and line the pockets of Vice Chancellors and their cronies with inflation busting rises as a reward. Yet thousands of HE staff earn below the Living Wage. Workers who even the Chancellor of the Exchequer acknowledges are the “working poor”.

“The money is there to pay more. Staff who have managed to hang onto their jobs through significant changes have seen their workload increase dramatically, yet their incomes have been squeezed to breaking point”.

More than 4,000 staff currently earn less than the living wage despite another year of projected surplus. Pay is being squeezed following five years of pay rises below the cost of living and salaries for staff have fallen in real terms by more than13% over the last five years. Staff have lost between £666 and £3,574 that they would have had if salaries had kept pace with the cost of living. UNISON’s low-paid members are already at the sharp end of the coalition government’s welfare reforms such as the bedroom tax.

What you can do:-

  • Support the strike
  • Join/support our picket lines at Sheffield Hallam University (email Dan Bye your availability)
  • Join the rally called by Higher Educations UNISON, Unite and UCU  at 12pm on 6th February 2014 outside City Hall, Sheffield
  • Sign the online petition calling for Fair Pay in HE: http://www.fairpayinhe.org.uk/

Further information on the pay campaign can be found at:-



Bob Geldof has lent his support to UNISON’s Higher Education members, telling workers on a crowded picket line in Leeds that “a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.”

Universities and colleges have been operating with skeleton staff with UNISON members attending rallies up and down the country in a walkout over pay.
Staff working in a wide variety of jobs including course administrators, caterers, cleaners, security staff have caused widespread disruption in 21 towns and cities. Walkouts have forced the closure of libraries, health centres and food courts, with several universities cancelling classes before the industrial action started.
250 employees attended a rally in Bristol, while 80 union pickets covered building entrances at universities throughout the north-west. UNISON members occupying an empty car park at Staffordshire University received widespread support from students.
The union has labelled the offer of a 1% pay rise “miserly” as cash-rich universities continue to pay more than 4,000 staff less than the Living Wage, which stands at £7.45 and £8.55 in London.
UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis was one of hundreds of people occupying more than 70 picket lines across London, with UNISON members standing alongside those from UCU and Unite. He said:

“Our members are the backbone of universities. They work hard to support students on campus, they run the libraries, take care of course administration, feed the students, keep them safe, clean their accommodation and university premises, and yet their contribution to university life is so often overlooked.

“The vast majority are low paid. A 1% increase for the lowest paid works out at £11.23 a month – not even enough to cover the latest gas bill rises. By contrast the vast majority of vice chancellors are sitting pretty on £242,000 a year – the equivalent of 18 years’ wages for those at the bottom.”