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News Archives

1st September 2016

Vote "YES" for Strike Action

Vote Yes for Strike ActionUPDATE:  (Sept 2016) The result of the ballot was to only narrowly in favour of strike action.  The HE Executive therefore took the decision not to proceed with Industrial Action in this instance.

UNISON is balloting members in higher education, urging them to vote ‘Yes’ for strike action for better pay. The decision of the higher education  service group executive was taken following a consultation with branches. The employers have so far refused to increase their 1.1% offer for the majority of staff that also does not deliver the Living Wage for the lowest paid.

Make sure you VOTE in the ballot - papers are being sent direct to members homes.

The average pay rise for Vice Chancellors in 2014/15 was a whopping 6.1% rising to an average of £274,405!

UNISON has called the offer ‘deeply hypocritical’ - as staff are offered a miserly 1.1% to cover their rising household bills - while at the same Vice Chancellors have called for a 2.8% increase in tuition fees in England to cover University ‘costs’.

Despite low inflation, essential costs such as water bills, public transport and car parking have all gone up this year.

UNISON believes that an increase is affordable - money is available for a higher pay increase this year universities holding cash surpluses of nearly £21billion! And the need for our members is urgent.

The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales reported a total surplus of £60m, while the English funding body (HEFCE) reported in March 2016 a surplus of nearly £1.8bn! Scotland Universities posted a surplus of £166m and Northern Ireland had a surplus of £27m.

UNISON believes that universities can afford to improve on their miserly offer.

For more information see the Higher Education Pay 2016 website.

Categories: Campaigns | Pay


3rd June 2016

UNISON Consults on Final Pay Offer

We're Worth ItWe have now received a "full and final" written pay offer from the national employers’ organisation the Universities & Colleges Employers Association (UCEA).

The offer for 2016-17 follows pay talks between the employers and joint higher ed unions, and consists of:

  • a 1.1% increase from 1 August for all staff covered by the higher education national agreement, who are on point 8 and above of the national pay spine;
  • increases of between 3.1% and 1.6% for staff on points 1 to 7 of the spine (note this is not the same as "grades" at the universities - see below)

UNISON’s Higher Education Service Group Executive, the union’s national committee for HE, is consulting members on this offer.

Read more...

Categories: Branch | Campaigns | Consultation | Members | Pay


29th February 2016

RGU Announces £6m Cuts to Staff and Services

Members will by now be aware of the Principal’s announcement at RGU with regard to the financial situation at the University, and the start of a Voluntary Severance scheme to attempt to reach the stated required cost reduction of £6 million (£2 million non-pay costs, and £4 million staffing costs).

The University has also stated that in the event that these savings levels cannot be achieved through Voluntary Severance alone, that future voluntary or compulsory redundancies cannot be ruled out.

At this stage, UNISON along with the other campus trade unions have asked the University to provide us with the business case and justification for the level of cuts being sought. We have also asked what non-pay costs have been considered, and also have asked that the University make a clear statement rejecting the use of compulsory redundancies. UNISON will expect to be involved in any consultations where proposals for restructuring are being looked at and where our members are at risk.

If you have any specific questions, comments or concerns let us know. We understand that times like this can be very difficult for everyone and if there is anything else you would like to see in the meantime please get in touch.

Categories: Campaigns | Members


9th December 2015

Revoke Donald Trump's Honorary Degree

Donald Trump (Image: Gage Skidmore)UPDATE: RGU have announced that they are to revoke Trump's Honorary Degree for “statements that are wholly incompatible with the ethos and values of the University”.  Well done RGU!

UNISON members working at Robert Gordon University have written to the Principal of Robert Gordon University calling on them to remove his honorary degree because he is reported to have called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States"

UNISON believes this to be unacceptable.

Colin Jones, Robert Gordon UNISON steward said “Robert Gordon University has a strong international reputation and UNISON believes that our University's association with Donald Trump can only undermine all the hard work we have put into building this worldwide reputation.

We believe that the University must make it as clear as possible that such statements are both unacceptable and irresponsible. They are divisive and put Muslim friends, family and colleagues in danger of discrimination and reprisals, and will make international relations worse not better.

Categories: Branch | Campaigns


14th September 2015

Protect The Right to Strike

The Conservative Government's Trade Union Bill is a new set of laws that will severely restrict working peoples’ ability to organise for their own rights and campaign for a more progressive society. It will go through Parliament this Autumn and could be law by February 2016 and will apply in England, Scotland and Wales.

UNISON is campaigning against the Trade Union Bill because we believe MPs should be focusing on the real problems our country faces and working with everyone, including trade unions, to solve them, rather than taking away people’s right to be supported at work.

Read more...

Categories: Campaigns | Information


3rd July 2015

HE members vote to accept pay offer

Worth ItUNISON’s higher education service group executive has decided to accept the employer’s pay offer, after 72% of members voted to back it.

The executive met on 30 June to consider the result of the branch consultative ballot on this year’s pay offer from the national employers’ organisation, the University and Colleges Employers’ Association.

Read more...

Categories: Campaigns | Pay


13th May 2015

HE Employers Make Final Pay Offer

We're Worth ItUNISON has received a "full and final" pay offer from higher education employers, which the union's higher education service group executive will discuss on Monday 18 May.

The offer for 2015-16 follows pay talks between the employers and joint higher ed unions, and consists of:

  • a 1% increase from 1 August for all staff covered by the higher education national agreement, who are on point 9 and above of the national pay spine;
  • increases of between 2.6% and 1.1% for staff on points 1 to 8 of the spine (note this is not the same as "grades" at the universities - see more information below), which would bring the lowest salary (point 1) up to the current living wage rate of £7.85 an hour for a 35-hour week.

Read more...

Categories: Campaigns | Pay


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