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Consultation now open on University offer

Updated Friday 21 June.

After serious consideration by both the committee and members in our latest meeting on Friday 7 June, our consultation on the offer from the University is now open. You will receive your voting link by email, with a text voting link to follow shortly afterwards for those who would prefer to vote by text. The consultation will close on Friday 5 July. 

This page is designed to bring together all of the information you need to make your decision on the offer. 

Committee recommendation

The committee is currently not recommending either accept or reject in the consultation, and leaving the decision up to members. This is because while we recognise positive aspects of the offer and also the efforts that have been made to resolve our remaining concerns in recent days, the current offer still does not include catering staff in weekend allowances.

We have been clear with the University that this is a requirement to secure the committee’s recommendation. If this changes during the consultation period we will let you know. 

More of an explanation of this issue and why it is so important to us can be found on our FAQs

Details of offer 

There is a summary of the offer below, but check out our FAQs on the offer for more detailed information

The offer includes commitments for:

  • A 35 hour working week – this would be applied as soon as systems changes allow. The change would change the definition of what a “full-time” salary is, meaning everyone’s hourly rate would go up. Part-time and any workers who work more than full-time hours would receive an increase in salary. 
  • An increase in pension contributions for GRP scheme members – all those in the University’s “Group Retirement Pension” scheme (currently provided by Legal and General) who currently contribute at least 1% salary would see an increase in the University’s contribution from 10 to 12%, as soon as systems changes allow and definitely before the end of this calendar year. A review will take place to look at further increases in employer contributions to bring them in line with those for other staff. 
  • One off payment – all those staff who haven’t already received a one off payment for moving over to the new terms (on the terms detailed on our pay spine information pages and our new FAQ) would receive one.
  • Back pay – all those staff who have yet to move to the new terms would receive backdated basic salary (excluding overtime and other allowances) if they were in post on 31 July 2023, and remain in post on 31 August 2024. 

Note that the University has stated that the above points are time-limited, and only apply if we accept this offer in this consultation. 

In addition the University has made the following additional commitments:

  • A revised statement of terms and conditions – we have negotiated some changes to the terms and conditions statement which address our key concerns. You can read the proposed revised statement online, or request a copy by emailing us at unisonbham@contacts.bham.ac.uk (or contacting one of the committee). 
  • An improvement in sick pay – currently sick pay for support staff stops after six months. The Univerisity is offering to match other groups of staff by providing an additional six months at half pay following this. They’ve also committed to reviewing the policy with us. 
  • Review of the grading process – this is in response to us highlighting delays in progressing reviews of grading for several key roles. It will also ensure that UNISON representatives are able to fulfill their role on review panels. 
  • Local offers to deal with staff who would otherwise lose pay – while pay spine reform was meant to increase pay across the University by design, a small number of staff on specific working patterns were facing losses in pay for moving over to the new terms. We’ve negotiated a solution for these staff to prevent them losing pay. 

These matters are not time limited, but would only come into force if UNISON accepts the offer. 

What happens after the consultation? 

It’s also important to note that unlike the University’s individual to staff, this is a collective offer.

  • If UNISON votes to accept, the new terms and any improvements will be applied to everyone. Those who remain on the old-style support staff T&Cs would be moved over to the new ones. 
  • If UNISON votes to reject, our dispute would continue and we may take further strike action. The University have stated the some aspects of the offer (detailed above) will be withdrawn. 

Please be sure that you fully understand the offer before using your vote – we will be holding drop in sessions throughout the consultation period, or please do drop us an email at unisonbham@contacts.bham.ac.uk, or drop a message to your UNISON rep as you normally would. 

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