UCEA pay negotiations

Our annual round of pay negotiations is now underway, the full details are publicly available from the UCEA website. We will continue to update you at each stage of the negotiations and once the outcome is clear.

May 2021 update

UCEA, who carries out collective bargaining’ for the annual pay award on the behalf of HEIs has made a final offer in the current pay round which is a 1.5% increase, with higher percentage uplifts, graded from 1.54% to 3.6%, for spine point 21 down to point 3. The offer equates to an increase of 1.59% on the sector pay bill and ensures an uplift on all Spine Points above the current rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH, 1% , March 2021).

This will now be considered by the unions at their respective committees and conferences.

The key points of the offer are:

  • The negotiations for 2021-22 have just finished, and the final offer that has been made to the trade unions to consider is a 1.5% pay increase, with those lower on the pay spine in line to receive a higher percentage pay rise (the range of pay increases is from 1.54% and 3.6% for pay points below Spine Point 22, with an increase of 1.5% to all pay points at Spine Point 22 or above.
  • Everyone will receive an above inflation pay increase.
  • We expect to be able to implement the pay increase from August, once the trade unions have considered the offer, but we will be able to confirm closer to the time.

April 2021 update

UCEA met trade unions yesterday for the second New JNCHES negotiating meeting for 2021-22 and has made an opening offer equivalent to an additional £111.8m on the national pay bill.   

This could support a 1.1% uplift for staff, but given the unions’ claim this year for a flat rate increase, UCEA have provided them with an indicative options appraisal so that they might consider how an award might be structured, before UCEA makes a further offer.

The actual uplift and how it relates to individual pay points will not be known until the structure of the final award is agreed.

March 2021 Opening position

The first stage, at the end of March, saw employers and five Higher Education Unions (EIS, GMB, UCU, Unison and Unite) make their initial positions clear and begin discussions.

Headlines from the trade unions' claim include:

  • a pay uplift of £2,500 on all pay points with a minimum of £10 per hour wage for all contract types;
  • for all universities to become Living Wage Foundation accredited employers;
  • a maximum sector wide pay ratio of 10:1 which is not limited to the national pay spine; and additional uplift at the lower end of the pay spine to address pay compression.

An opening pay offer was put forward by the employers in response at the end of the meeting and discussions will continue at the second meeting planned for the 14 April. A final meeting is scheduled for 6 May 2021.

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