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Important update: UCU to meet UCEA at Acas next week

9 February 2023

I am writing with a very important update on the status of our negotiations with employers.

Today we have agreed to meet Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) with the mediators Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) next Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 February to discuss our pay and working conditions dispute and hopefully a way forward.

You will know we have been crystal clear that we will not reach an agreement until we have genuine progress on casualisation, workload and equality pay gaps. The employer has now recognised this.

I do not want to overplay the importance of this development because there is still a long way to go but this is another clear sign that your magnificent support, and the magnificent support of our members, for our union is working.

We have gone from a position where the employer sat out the whole dispute to one where we have Universities UK (UUK) indicating that they could move on USS pensions, a fresh pay offer on the table and now discussions at Acas. None of the employers' positions at this moment represent something that we could deem acceptable but we have them back in the room and agreeing with us on crucial matters--you achieved that.

My message today is very simple--we need to walk into that room at Acas on Monday and Tuesday knowing that we have delivered the biggest and most powerful picket lines in our history.

The employer needs to walk into Acas feeling under more pressure than ever.

So the ask is simple--support the strikes tomorrow and throughout the coming weeks.

Strike. Vote. Win.

In solidarity

Jo Grady
UCU general secretary

Last updated: 9 February 2023