Unison set to open strike ballot over 1% pay offer

The higher education sector's second biggest union is to ballot for strike action over the 1 per cent pay offer from universities.

August 25, 2012

Unison announced on 24 August that it would open its ballot on 12 September, closing it on 2 October.

The union's 45,000 members in the higher education sector, including registrars, cleaners, cooks, administration and security staff, make it second only to the University and College Union in size.

The sector's five unions - Unison, the UCU, Unite, the Educational Institute of Scotland and the GMB - entered a 7 per cent claim for 2012-13.

The claim was calculated on the basis of a 3.7 per cent inflation rate and 3.3 per cent to account for a "catch-up" after three consecutive years of low pay rises - 0.5 per cent, 0.4 per cent and 0.5 per cent.

The five unions have all rejected the final 1 per cent offer from the Universities and Colleges Employers Association. Four are preparing for strike ballots, with the GMB yet to announce its plans.

Unison's announcement of a ballot follows consultation with branches, which saw the offer rejected by a margin of two to one.

Jon Richards, Unison national secretary for education and children's services, said: "In real terms it represents a cut in pay, at a time when prices are rising and members are struggling."

He added that the employers "have refused to compromise, and it is clear that if we want to get more out of them, members need to vote for strike action".

A Ucea spokesman said the pay offer came alongside "a number of joint working proposals on other important elements of the unions' claim, including the response to a 'Living Wage' [demand] and offer for further work on equality issues".

The spokesman added that the overall staff benefit package "includes excellent conditions of service, defined benefits pensions and provision for incremental pay increases. Despite the economic difficulties and inflation issues that have impacted on all, HE pay and benefits packages continue to compare favourably to those outside of the sector. As always the employers remain open to discussions with the trade unions."

john.morgan@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Felipe Fernández-Armesto takes issue with a claim that the EU has been playing the sovereignty card in Brexit negotiations

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

John McEnroe arguing with umpire. Tennis

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman explain how to negotiate your annual performance and development review

Man throwing axes

UCU attacks plans to cut 171 posts, but university denies Brexit 'the reason'

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald