HE Pay Update – 2 April

Negotiations with the National HE employers – 2014/15

As reported previously, pay negotiations have started for next year’s claim. The starting point for these negotiations is that current salaries should be increased by at least the RPI rate of inflation (RPI is generally higher than CPI, which is the government’s preferred measure). Click this link for full details of the pay claim (Unison web site).

Next steps in the Pay Dispute 2013/14

UNISON’s Higher Education Service Group Executive met recently to discuss the arrangements to consult on the next steps in the unfinished dispute (as agreed by UNISON’s HE conference). Details of this consultation will be circulated to Branches shortly.

Of the other unions involved in the dispute, the main academic union UCU has announced a marking ban to start from 28 April 2014, but has no plans for further strikes. Further details on impacts for UNISON members will be distributed in April.

Members will have received a pay increase for 2013/14 as UCEA advised its University members to pay the 1% pay offer to staff in January 2014. This payment was imposed by the employers and it has not settled our dispute, as 1% was a figure rejected by members, who voted to take strike action against it.

Has the 3 day strike made a difference?

Yes.  Whilst the employers have not moved on the 1%, we have made some small gains. Since the start of the dispute a number of employers (some of whom had previously refused) have agreed to introduce the Living Wage. Bath University are the latest alongside King’s College and City University in London. UNISON branches are urged to put pressure on those universities that have not yet agreed a Living Wage. Help to progress a local campaign can be obtained from your Regional Organiser. The more members we have in your workplace, the stronger we become and more effective we will be in discussions with the employers. Potential members can join instantly by calling 0800 171 2193, join online at https://join.unison.org.uk, or speak to your local rep.

Pay negotiations have begun for 2014-15

Although we have still not agreed a final settlement for the 2013-14 pay deal, Unison’s national negotiators have already begun talks on next year’s claim with UCEA (the University and Colleges Employers Association) alongside other HE and FE unions, holding the first meeting on 26 March. Donna Row Merriman, Unison Senior National Officer reported:

“A constructive exploration has taken place on the core components of the trade unions’ pay claim and the context for the HE employers. Our positive dialogue will continue, and we will meet again formally on 15 April 2014.”


We will keep the site updated with further news as we hear it.


Latest information on HE pay dispute from Unison

Unison has decided to fully consult members, via their branches, to develop a strategy for future action in the HE pay dispute http://www.unison.org.uk/news/members-to-be-consulted-on-next-steps-in-higher-ed-pay-dispute

This decision means that, before any further strike days are called, the service group executive will develop a strategy to maximise the impact of future action and make sure members are only called out when there is likely to be significant impact on higher education institutions.




AGM 2014

The Unison AGM will be held on Wednesday 5 February 2014 at 10.30am in the De Grey Lecture Theatre (DG017).

The agenda, minutes of the last AGM meeting and the Health & Safety Officer’s Report can be accessed below.  The unaudited accounts for 2013 will be posted before close of play on 4 February 2014.

Agenda – AGM 5.2.14
YSJ Branch – Unison – AGM Minutes 6.2.13
H&S Report for the 2014 AGM
Unison accounts 31 Dec 2013 (final unaudited for AGM)




Following the first two days of strike action on 31 October and 3 December 2013 UNISON’s Higher Education Service Group Executive has called a further strike day to be held on the 6th February 2014. This will be a joint strike with other HE unions.

For further information on the strike or to help out on the day please email Dave Thomspon, Chair of the York St John Union Branch d.thompson@yorksj.ac.uk or reply direct to this email which one of the branch officers will pick up.  Please access the UNISON website for more detailed information too.

Please support UNISON in its fight for a fair and affordable pay settlement for us all.



There will be a Health and Safety workplace inspection taking place on the 9-12-13 at 9 am. The area which will be inspected will be the main office in the Library Fountains Building.
Any members who would like to raise any concerns or questions please get intouch or speak to me on the day.

Important Information on 3.12.13 strike action

Dear Member

Unison are asking you to take strike action on 3 December 2013 as, unfortunately, last minute talks that took place on November 26th between the Joint Unions and UCEA, the employers’ representatives, failed to resolve the Higher Education pay dispute. UCEA said the employers could not afford more than this even though their own accounts show differently. Universities appear to have plenty of money for improving facilities and increasing Vice Chancellors’ wages but not to pay our members a fair and affordable pay settlement.

As we have stated before, this strike is not just about our low paid members but about the annual attack that all our members have suffered on the value of their pay due to well below cost of living pay rises. We know that because of that it is not easy to take strike action but Unison, along with the other unions who are taking strike action, believe that if we do not take action now then this devaluation of our members wages will continue year after year.

Unison York St John branch members will be picketing university entrances between 8.00 and 12.00 on 3 December 2013. Please join us if you are able to. We will be meeting in front of the Fountains building just before 8am. If this is too early for you then please join us later at one of the entrances to the University. There has been an offer of tea and coffee from the Students’ Union.

Please support Unison in the fight for a fair and affordable settlement for all our members in Higher Education.

Best Wishes
Dave Thompson
York St John Unison Chair