Deal reached in university pay talks
A deal has been reached today (Tuesday) at the latest round of pay talks between the trade unions representing university staff and the university employers.
The offer will now be put to members of the newly formed University and College Union (UCU) who will ballot on whether or not to accept it. In the meantime the industrial action currently being taken by the union's members will be suspended from midnight tonight.
The deal on the table includes an increase in salary levels of 10.37% over 22 months from August 2006, as well as a minimum of 2.5% the following year. An independent review into the finances available in the higher education sector to pay staff will be commissioned and if more money is available to increase salaries this will be taken into account in future negotiations. UCU has insisted that the deal has to include the repayment of all monies deducted from staff taking part in the action short of a strike.
The pay increases agreed as a result of these negotiations are as follows:
August 2006: greater of 3% or £515
February 2007: 1%
August 2007: 3%
May 2008: greater of 3% or £420
October 2008: 2.5% or RPI (as at September 2008) whichever is the greater*
*if the review provides evidence of higher education institutions' ability to further improve the pay of staff in 2008-09 this would be included within these negotiations.
UCU joint presidents, Dr Dennis Hayes and Dr Steve Wharton, said: 'The industrial action is being stood down with immediate effect and UCU members will be balloted on the new offer. We would like to thank ACAS and the TUC for their help in brokering this deal which has come as a result of a series of extremely tough negotiations. It is our members' magnificent solidarity during this dispute that has got us to this point, and now universities must return monies docked from those members' salaries who took part in the action.'
UCU joint general secretaries, Sally Hunt and Paul Mackney, said: 'No settlement ever provides everything that you want for members, but we believe that this is the best that can be achieved within the current national negotiating environment. Members will see significant increases in their salaries over the next two years, but we are acutely aware that this will still not make up the ground lost over the past decades. We will continue to make the case for higher staff pay in the future, including to the independent review, and would like to express our sincere thanks to all UCU members for their support during this difficult dispute.
'We would also like to thank the National Union of Students and students around the country for their support at such a crucial time. We will be working to ensure the disruption is kept to a minimum and that students will be graduating on time.'