Joint Support Unions’ pay claim for 2018/2019

Joint Union Pay Claim 2018/2019

The Joint Unions note that the University remains one of the most financially secure and successful institutions in the sector, able to invest more than £600 million in infrastructure projects while still maintaining a surplus in the tens of millions year on year.

Conversely, support staff pay has been subject to an unprecedented squeeze as year on year real-terms pay settlements have been made and often imposed on staff, resulting in a drop in real-term pay of up to 20% for some staff since 2009.

It’s apparent that the University can afford to pay its staff more and it should let them share in the success that they have contributed to.

We note from a recent meeting that the University “has regard” to national pay negotiations. We note in particular that the national joint union claim for this year was particularly persuasive and sensible in its focus on the real terms erosion of staff pay over a number of years, and its stated aim to address both the need to ensure the lowest paid staff earn enough to live and to counter the disproportionate impact of inflation on the rest of the pay scale.

With that in mind, our claim for this year is as follows:

  • A basic increase on all spinal points of 7.5% or £1,500, whichever is greater.
  • The University to immediately become a recognised foundation living wage employer

Subsequent to this year’s pay talks:

  • Talks should be held from January next year without precondition or links to other negotiations to restructure the pay-spine. These should aim to introduce a £10 per hour minimum wage at the University and to fairly space the bands, with equal numbers of semi-automatic increments for each.

The Joint Unions were greatly disappointed at the University’s imposition of a below-inflation pay rise last year before the full number of required meetings were held.
While the University has subsequently committed to hold at least the requisite number of meetings this year (3 normal meetings and 1 dispute meeting as per the procedure agreement), we feel the University should never impose a pay rise on staff but should instead engage with staff representatives who should have the decision on whether the staff body continues to dispute a pay rise or accepts the proposed increase.

As we have stated, the most important thing for staff is getting a fair pay rise, and we do not see the benefit of the University rushing through a real-terms pay cut before negotiations have concluded.