Website URL : http://www.ucu.org.uk/6759||
HE Pay Dispute 2013 - Fair Pay in HE
UCU members have voted to take strike action and action short of a strike in response to the employers' failure to make you a proper pay offer this year.
Members who have had a day's pay deducted for taking two-hour strike action or are in real hardship are entitled to claim from the strike fund. See here for more information.
Latest HE news from our fair pay campaign site
Two-hour strikes hit universities
UCU members escalated their action by taking part in a series of two-hour stoppages. Members walked out on Thursday 23 January between 11am-1pm, and Tuesday 28 January, between 2pm-4pm. A further two-hour stoppage took place on Monday 10 February 9am-11am, after a further joint one-day strike on 6 February called by all four higher education unions. The third of UCU's two-hour stoppages will take place on Monday 10 February from 9-11am. Read more about the two-hour stoppages here.
Some employers have responded to the two-hour stoppages by threatening to deduct an entire day's pay. UCU has warned these employers that they will face legal action over punitive salary deductions. It alsoi emerged during this period that university vice-chancellors enjoyed an average pay rise of 5.1% last year.
Members continue action with a 'work to contract'
As well as the series of strike action, UCU members are continuing their work to contract action. You can find out what this means and what you should and shouldn't do in our work to contract FAQ page.
Joint union strike action
UCU, UNISON and Unite members took their first day of strike action on Thursday 31 October and
UCU, UNISON and Unite members were joined by Scottish education union, the EIS, after the employers failed to improve on their offer. The joint unions had met with UCEA for further talks on 26 November 2013. Insultingly, the employers only said they were willing to 'look into' any equality issues if members accepted the pay cut on offer. The pay offer of just 1% this year would mean members in HE suffering a pay cut of 13% in real terms since October 2008. The squeeze on staff pay comes at a time when pay and benefits for university leaders increased, on average, by more than £5,000 in 2011-12, with the average pay and pensions package for vice-chancellors hitting almost £250,000.
This came after a new report which revealed that more than half of UK universities pay some of their staff less than the living wage and over a quarter have more than 100 staff paid less than the living wage.
A third day of joint one-day action took place Thursday 6 February, with employers having failed so far to offer any improvement on their 1% pay offer. With a further two-hour strike planned for 9-11am on Monday 10 February UCU has warned that if the dispute is not resolved by then that it will consider moving to a marking boycott, which could hit end of year exams and graduations.
International messages of support sent to UCU members
On 31 October 2013 unions from across the world sent in messages of support to UCU's higher education members, who were on strike against a 1% pay offer.
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United for Education: Fair Pay Now - poster (.pdf) [88kb]
Industrial action ballot
The ballot closed at noon on 10 October. Turnout was 35.0%. The responses to the two questions you were balloted on are as follows:
Are you prepared to take industrial action consisting of strike action?
Are you prepared to take industrial action consisting of action short of a strike?
The union's Higher Education Committee will discuss the result and the next steps tomorrow, Friday 11 October. UCU is working closely with the other higher education unions and their results will be considered as well. A further report will be sent to branches early next week.
Why we balloted
That's why we balloted for action.
The ballot closed on 10 October.