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University strike ballot a step closer as vice-chancellors refuse to improve pay offer

15 July 2022

UCU has today confirmed that it will move ahead with a ballot for industrial at UK universities after vice chancellors again failed to make an improved offer on pay.

The joint higher education trade unions (UCU, GMB, EIS, Unite and Unison) met with employer representatives Universities and Colleges Employers' Association (UCEA) yesterday (14 July) and were told that despite acknowledging the impact of the cost of living crisis on staff, there would be no increase to the employers' 3% pay offer. 

The formal dispute process has now concluded and UCU will now continue its preparations for an industrial action ballot which if successful would see every university in the UK hit by strike action in the autumn.  

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'The employer body UCEA has refused to improve its meagre 3% pay offer for university staff, an offer which would represent another devastating real-terms pay cut.  

'Vice chancellors were given the opportunity to call on UCEA to increase its offer, but they refused, despite acknowledging the cost-of-living crisis has got worse for staff. Employers understand the significance of this decision and have chosen to attack pay and fuel a sector wide dispute which will hit universities in the Autumn.  

'University staff are sick and tired of being undervalued and UCU will continue its preparations for a UK wide industrial action ballot which will open later this summer.'

Last updated: 15 July 2022