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UCU update on higher education pay negotiations and strategy

10 July 2024

As you may know, the employers' representatives, Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), sent the five unions (UCU, Unite, UNISON, GMB and EIS) its 'full and final offer for the 2024-25 New JNCHES pay round' last week.

UCU held a branch delegate meeting (BDM) to feed back members' views to inform the deliberation of the UCU higher education committee (HEC) who met on Friday 5 July to consider the offer. You can find the results of the BDM here.

Most branches let us know that they considered the offer unsatisfactory and wanted to continue with talks and enter dispute resolution meetings. They also gave helpful qualitative feedback on other elements such as workload, casualisation, redundancies and the need to protect migrant workers in the sector.

On Friday 5 July, HEC voted to reject the current offer and trigger dispute resolution meetings in order to improve upon the offer.  HEC also resolved to build a campaign for industrial action to win on all of the four fights--pay, workload, casualisation and equality.

We will now look to enter the dispute resolution process with the employers' representatives. Your negotiators have already moved the employers significantly and through the dispute resolution process it may be possible to avoid triggering a formal trade dispute. The ball is now in the employers' court to make further improvements. The resolution process should move quickly and we anticipate being in a position to update you further within weeks. 

In solidarity

Jo Grady
UCU general secretary

Last updated: 10 July 2024