Standing up for fair pay

HE national negotiations 2018-19

Standing up for fair pay

The joint higher education trade union national claim has been agreed by the five HE trade unions - UNISON, Unite, EIS, GMB and UCU - and was submitted to UCEA in advance of the first negotiating meeting on 26 March.

The claim, which covers pay, equality, workloads and precarious contracts, is available here.

The negotiating timetable is:

  • Monday 26 March  
  • Friday 13 April
  • Thursday 10 May

Standing up fair pay and conditions poster [145kb]
Standing up fair pay and conditions flyer [174kb]
Your pay matters poster [206kb]
Your pay matters leaflet [422kb]


At the second meeting on 13 April, UCEA made an opening offer which is summarised below:

  • Pay - an increase to all spine points of 1.7% or £350 whichever is the greater.
  • Gender pay - some qualified further joint work (to be developed) on gender pay, building on the new work stream developed by the gender pay group established as result of last year's settlement.
  • Workload and excessive hours - UCEA rejected a monetary payment in recognition of the excessive hours worked. Hours of work are a locally determined matter but UCEA will consider how they may be able to comment further in this regard.
  • Precarious work - UCEA do not wish to progress a UK level action plan to tackle the wide spread use of exploitative contracts. UCEA have indicated a willingness to consider some work in regards to the most insecure contracts.
  • Scottish JNCHES - UCEA are not supportive of establishing such a fora. The trade union side has agreed to respond in detail before the final meeting.

The UCU negotiators' view is that this is a disappointing offer that falls short of even keeping the value of pay in line with the increases to the cost of living and does not address the serious and wide spread issues of pay inequality, workload and precarious employment in the sector.

On 26 March the first of the three scheduled negotiations took place. The trade unions side presented our claim and the employer's representatives at UCEA gave a response. UCEA confirmed they have a mandate to negotiate and will respond in detail to the unions claim, however it is disappointing to note that no opening offer was made.

Last updated: 11 May 2018