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Further talks agreed in university pay & working conditions dispute

9 February 2023

UCU welcomed the decision by university employers to enter negotiations to resolve disruptive strike action currently impacting 150 universities.

UCU and the four other higher education unions (EIS, GMB, UNISON and Unite) and employer representative the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) have agreed to further talks mediated by conciliation service Acas. The discussions will begin Monday.  

Acas mediated talks are intended to address the issues in dispute, which include pay, equality, job insecurity and workloads.  

Strike action remains on. Staff will be on strike tomorrow and then back out for three consecutive days of strikes from Tuesday. In total 18 days of strike action are planned throughout February and March.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'We are pleased the employers have agreed to enter the Acas process in order to try and resolve our dispute. The union has been clear, we need an offer that addresses the key issues affecting our members - specifically on casualisation and workloads. We haven't had that yet. The sector has more than enough money to pay and treat people fairly, and employers have the power to do so. I am incredibly proud of UCU members whose dedication to improving their working standards and education has gotten us this far.'

Full statement by UCU, EIS, GMB, UNISON and Unite: 

Following the approach from Acas the five sector unions have agreed the following statement: 'The Joint Unions have received an approach from ACAS to engage in a collective conciliation process regarding our joint claim.  The Joint Unions have agreed not to go ahead with the Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff (JNCHES) Dispute Resolution meeting scheduled for Friday 10th February and will meet with ACAS on Monday 13th February.' 

Last updated: 10 February 2023