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Boycott Leicester

No progress in national talks between unions and university employers

19 April 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

The higher education unions - UCU, EIS, GMB, UNISON and Unite - have today issued the following joint statement:

'At the new JNCHES meeting held on Monday 19 April, UCEA failed to improve on their previous offer of a sum equivalent to 0.25% (non-consolidated). They also failed to respond to other aspects on the trade unions' claim, including the need for proposals to improve job security in the sector. They did, however, indicate a willingness to discuss issues associated with training and development further. UCEA negotiators agreed to refer the current position back to their board meeting on 29 April. The parties agreed to meet again on 5 May. The trade union side hope that the employer will come to the table with a credible offer.'

UCU criticised the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) for refusing to commit to a national deal on job security, when thousands of jobs were at risk in the sector. The union also expressed its frustration at UCEA's refusal to improve on the pay offer of 0.25% (non-consolidated) which is a real terms pay cut. The latest offer is down on the 0.50% given to staff last year (2009), which was the worst in the entire public sector.

UCU head of higher education, Michael MacNeil, said: 'There is nothing to prevent UCEA negotiating a national agreement to prevent job losses. In fact, in these exceptional financial circumstances we think it is absolutely essential. They have failed to understand, or deal with, the full scale of the jobs crisis in the sector. To add insult to injury UCEA are also offering a real term pay cut for staff, following a derisory payment last year. It is essential that the employers come back with a credible offer to avoid a dispute and worsening of industrial relations.'