ACAS talks fail to resolve pay dispute

UNISON, UCU, Unite and EIS members in higher education are due to take a second day of strike action on 3 December after talks at ACAS failed to bring about any movement on the pay element of the trade union claim.

The university employers maintain that they are not in a position to make any movement on their current 1% offer and have stated that the union’s claim for an improved offer is not affordable.

The employers continue to argue that they are not in a position to amend the existing pay scale to ensure that the lowest-paid staff working in universities earn a decent standard that is not below the current benchmark of a living wage, which is currently £7.65 and £8.80 in London.

UNISON is campaigning for the living wage to be paid to over 4,000 employees as part of the current pay claim.

The union believes that the money is available in the sector to make an improved offer on pay.

The University of Huddersfield, which is already an accredited living wage employer, where no employee receives less than the current living wage, is to make an additional payment to staff in the current economic climate.

An unconsolidated offer of £350 for staff with continuous service of one year or more has been paid in their November salary.

This decision has been taken in order to say a “thank you” to staff that have worked and contributed to the success of the University in the last 12 months.

UNISON’s national secretary for education, Jon Richards, said: “UNISON believes that university employers around the UK have the money to reward staff for the hard work and commitment that they have shown in delivering world-class services to students for the last 12 months.

“Collectively, universities have accumulated a surplus of over £1 billion, according to their latest figures. The current pay offer of 1% does not reflect the huge amount that staff have contributed to the success of the sector, and our members are taking strike action because they believe the current offer is not enough and that they are worth more than 1%.”

Source: UNISON website

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