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UCU sets out future of national higher education pay talks

12 November 2007 | last updated: 14 December 2015

Following Friday's special higher education conference, UCU today said it was keen to conclude new arrangements for national pay bargaining for UK universities if it received key assurances about its future operation.

The conference resolved to move to a new bargaining structure so long as UCU's ability to negotiate effectively on behalf of the staff groups it currently represents remains unchanged and its ability to determine if, and when, it can call on its members to take industrial action is unimpeded.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said that the union had listened to its members and would now be seeking meetings with both the employers and the other unions that represent university staff.

Sally Hunt said: 'At our conference on Friday, UCU members made it quite clear that this union strongly favours national pay bargaining and an orderly approach to determining pay in higher education across the UK.  National bargaining is in everyone's interests and I am unconvinced that the majority of institutions really want to replace it with a local and regional free-for-all which will lead to instability across the sector.

'UCU's priority remains to represent its existing academic and academic-related members effectively and to retain the freedom to take action to defend members where necessary. We are also very much looking forward to reaching agreement with our sister unions on a united bargaining front which will strengthen our ability to stand up for university staff and deliver a better deal for all against employers who consistently refuse to prioritise their staff.'