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AUT seeks two-year pay deal and full review into finances for the third year

31 May 2006

AUT’s executive committee this morning rejected the latest ‘final’ pay offer from the University and Colleges Employers’ Association (UCEA) and called for a full independent review to determine what money is really available for staff pay.

At yesterday's pay talks the employers tabled a reworking of the original 12.6% offer as 13.1% on salary points over three years. AUT is disappointed that the latest final offer does not properly take into account the extra money coming into the sector in 2008/2009, when undergraduate students in years one, two and three will be paying top-up fees and there will be additional grants.

In order to clear up any misunderstanding about what money will be available in the third year, AUT has today called on the employers to explore a two-year deal for now and to commit to a full independent review to determine exactly what will be affordable in 2008/2009. The current offer would commit the trade unions to accepting just a 2.5% increase in year three before it is known how much money is available.

AUT general secretary, Sally Hunt, believes that a review will remove any uncertainty about what is affordable. She reiterated today that she is committed to resolving the dispute as swiftly as possible and wants the employers to come back to talks.

AUT general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'We are disappointed that things have failed to move on enough, especially considering the employers' words about the possibility of a settlement last week. Their latest "final offer" is unacceptable as it stands but we in AUT still believe that a national settlement is possible with further negotiation.

'AUT is prepared to explore a two-year settlement that provides at least a double figure uplift on salary points. We believe that a full transparent review to establish the new money coming into the sector in the third year is a credible option for all. Let's open up the books and remove any uncertainty about what is affordable in advance of negotiations for the third year pay deal.

'We and our colleagues in NATFHE are determined to resolve the dispute and hope that the employers will commit to further talks in the interests of both students and staff.'

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