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Higher education unions reject employers' offer on pay and jobs

20 May 2009

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The higher education unions - UCU, EIS, GMB, UNISON and Unite - have unanimously rejected a 'derisory' pay offer from the national employers of just 0.4%.

The unions said the new pay offer from the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) was the worst in the entire public sector, after employers increased their original offer from 0.3% to 0.4%.

The unions also expressed their frustration at UCEA's refusal to commit to a national agreement on job security, as two-thirds of institutions look to make cuts across the higher education sector. The national negotiating meeting saw some constructive dialogue on possible joint work on issues such as the gender pay gap, work life balance and improvements in missing pay and workforce data.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'UCEA has managed the remarkable feat of making the worst pay offer in the entire public sector. The unions today unanimously rejected what we felt was a derisory pay offer of just 0.4%, which is just a 0.1% increase on what was proposed last month. There is nothing to prevent UCEA negotiating a national agreement to prevent job losses. In fact in these exceptional financial circumstances we think it is absolutely essential. They have failed to understand, or deal with, the full scale of the jobs crisis in the sector.'
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