An opening pay offer from university employers has been rejected by the campus unions at the first meeting of the 2010-11 negotiations.
The offer of a non-consolidated sum equal to 0.25 per cent of the wage bill was made at a meeting on 29 March between the Universities and Colleges Employers Association and the five campus unions, the University and College Union, Unite, Unison, GMB and the Educational Institute of Scotland.
The meeting followed the submission of a jointly agreed claim by the unions of a minimum of 4 per cent, which they say would bridge the gap between rising costs and this year's 0.5 per cent settlement.
The UCU said on 30 March that Ucea's offer of a "non-consolidated cash sum equivalent to 0.25 per cent of the pay bill" had been unanimously rejected. The employers, it said, had made "no serious attempt to address the other key elements of the joint union claim", including proposals on job security.
Ucea said it had "discussed with the unions the difficult economic background and the details and costings of their claim". It said its offer was made "against the background of cuts in sector funding".
The next meeting is scheduled to take place on 19 April.