A few days ago the Vice Chancellor sent an email to all staff to inform us that negotiations in the 2021/2022 pay round had concluded with UCEA – the employers’ organisation for Higher Education – making a final offer of 1.5% for the majority of staff (with more, on a sliding scale, for those lower on the pay scale). The University intends to impose this offer in August.
UNISON’s position is that this offer falls far short of the pay claim that the joint trade unions submitted. Last year (2020/2021) the employers imposed a pay freeze (UNISON is still in dispute about this) as a ‘reward’ for the exceptional hard work HE staff put in during the first year of the pandemic, which itself came after a decade of derisory pay awards.
UNISON is now asking members to say whether they accept or reject the 2021/2022 pay offer.
UNISON’s Higher Education Service Group Executive is recommending that members reject the 2021/2022 pay offer. If you vote to reject the offer, you need to be prepared to take part in sustained strike action in order to improve the offer.
To emphasise: this is a consultation exercise, not an industrial action ballot. The result of the consultation will be considered by the Service Group Executive. If industrial action is to be taken, a formal postal ballot of members would then take place, with a 50% turnout required for a valid vote for action.
The 2021/2022 pay offer consultation will begin on Monday 24th May, closing on Friday 18 June.
All eligible members will receive an email with a link enabling you to vote in the consultation anonymously. It will also be possible to vote online even if you don’t get an email (perhaps because you have not given UNISON permission to contact you in this way). Any new members joining before 4th June will be sent a voting link by email.
Remember that you can update some of your personal details in the UNISON membership system here: https://my.unison.org.uk/.
For more information see: https://www.unison.org.uk/at-work/education-services/about/higher-education/fair-pay-for-he/
29 June 2021, 9.30am-1.00pm
This is a brand new UNISON and The Open University workshop delivered by trained OU tutors and is aimed at people working in early years settings or those with an interest in attachment theory for young children.
Places are limited so this session is being offered strictly on a first come first served basis.
If successful in securing a place, members wishing to attend would need to agree time off work (flexi or annual leave) with their line manager.
The workshop will cover:
- Attachment classifications and how they are assessed
- The features of caregiving that influence attachment, and the significance of attachment for lifespan development
- Why the attachment system is an adapted and adaptive mechanism
At the end of the session attendees will receive a certificate of completion from The Open University.
This workshop will be delivered using Microsoft Teams software.
To apply, please complete the web form via the link below:
A wide range of online courses available for members:
Get That Job – a personal development workshop delivered by the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA).
Power To Be You – look at ways of increasing your own confidence and recognition of your personal achievements.
Below are one day short courses offered free of charge by Northern College.
To apply visit https://www.northern.ac.uk/courses/short-courses/ and select “apply for a course online” and complete the online booking form. More information about each of these courses can be found on online.
Covid Awareness for Work
Covid Awareness for Work
Introduction to Cloud Computing
Keeping kids safe online
Covid Awareness for Work
When applying, please remember to select the box saying you are a UNISON Member.
November is young workers month and UNISON wants to hear directly from young workers on what support they need from their union <<read more>>
This year our employers offered a 0% pay freeze to all staff in Higher Education. This isn’t just a freeze; it is a pay cut: bills will increase this year, but our wages will not.
UNISON and other Higher Education trade unions are unwilling to accept this “offer” and so you will be contacted in the coming weeks to consult as to whether you accept or reject the offer and would support sustained industrial action to push the employer to make a better offer.
If UNISON has your email address, you’ll be sent an email when the consultation opens.
Please check we have the right contact details for you at MyUNISON before 16th November 2020.
National Pay Bargaining in Other Sectors
To put into perspective what this means for members working in Higher Education, employees included in 262 national pay bargaining deals this year are getting a better pay rise than us. Just 42 are seeing a pay freeze. Below are figures relating to pay offers this year being offered in other sectors:
In the public sector:
- Council workers are all getting pay rises at different rates, which varies from around 2% (with more for the lowest paid). For example:
- Northampton Council staff – 4% offered with 6.2% for the lowest paid.
- Scottish Public Sector staff – 3% offered, with 4.1% for the lowest paid.
- 8.4% for the lowest paid at the Department for Education.
- Sport England staff – 2% offered.
- Police Service staff – 2.5% offered.
- Department for Work and Pensions staff – 2.5% offered.
- Dental staff – 2.8% offered.
In the private sector:
- Home Bargains staff – 15% offered over 2 years.
- Tata Steel staff – 6.5% offered.
- G4S staff – 6% offered.
Consultation on the Pay Offer
We believe all staff in Higher Education deserve a pay rise this year, especially when we consider all the hard work that staff have put in to keep the University running, from security staff working throughout the lockdown period, maintenance staff ensuring the campus is maintained to a high standard, admin and support staff ensuring that students are receiving enough support during this time and are able to register to their programmes, academic staff moving to online teaching and many more. We all deserve more than a pay cut.
Consultation of members starts on 3rd November and ends on 30th November
For more information go to: UNISON Higher Education Campaign Page
UNISON University of Sheffield Branch share how they ran their successful campaign #NoFireAndRehire
The Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) has released a statement to the joint higher education trade unions that announces a pay freeze for 2020/2021.
UNISON head of higher education Ruth Levin said:
“With the real-term value of pay having fallen over the past 10 years, due to insufficient pay rises, it’s about time universities provided a decent pay rise to their staff.”
UNISON head of higher education Ruth Levin said: “This proposal is clearly a huge disappointment. Higher education support staff have worked so hard over the past few months to support students and colleagues to keep universities going.
“Universities will play a vital role in getting this country through the pandemic, in rebuilding the economy and in providing opportunity to the increasing numbers of eighteen year olds, and others, in coming years.”
The proposed pay freeze is at odds with the joint unions 2020 / 21 pay claim made in March, details of which are given below.
The 2020 / 21 Joint Unions Pay Claim
In March, HE unions submitted a ‘timely and serious’ pay claim for 2020/21 to include:
- An increase in all higher education salaries by the Retail Price Index plus 5% on all 49 points of the national pay spine; for all pay related allowances including London weighting, to have same uplift;
- The minimum hourly rate of pay for staff employed by universities to be £10.50 per hour. This is to be applicable to staff at all HEIs whether the standard full-time weekly employment contract is 35 hours per week or above
- For the standard weekly full-time contract of employment to be 35 hours per week at all higher education institutions
- Ending pay injustice – meaningful, agreed action to tackle the race, gender and disability pay gap; to take an intersectional approach to the ways in which intersectionality and protected characteristics impact on pay equality
- Meaningful, agreed action to address excessive workloads and unpaid work; action to address the impact that excessive workloads are having on workforce stress and mental ill-health.
Colombia has been hit badly by COVID-19 – but the impact on ordinary people has been worsened further by more cartel violence.
Supporting the UNISON’s president’s charity can help. Read more here
22 July 2020
This introductory 1-hour session is aimed at all UNISON members with an interest in Neurodiversity. Neurodiversity is an umbrella term for autism, dyslexia, ADHD and dyspraxia. For further information and how to register for this course click here
If you are interested in attending a UNISON course and would like to know more – please contact the Branch Education officer, Linda Wood, for a chat: firstname.lastname@example.org