Staff in Scotland's new universities have been incensed by a unilateral management announcement of a shake-up of pay and conditions, which they believe signals a rejection of national negotiations.
The Conference of Scottish Centrally Funded Colleges has approved proposals, which will now go to governing bodies, for new contracts from January. It says the reforms, which include cutting leave from 61 days to 41, and boosting pay scales by around 2.5 per cent, will bring institutions in line with old universities.
The move comes as the higher education unions are set to ballot on a 3.5 per cent pay offer, recommending its rejection.
The joint union committee's pay claim is for 10 per cent on all points of the salary scale and on part-time rates. It also wants to see at least half the staff currently on fixed term contracts put on permanent contracts, and the removal of waiver clauses from fixed term contracts.