Update 10.06.2022 – we’ve received an *updated* offer from the University. This is summarised below and can be also be seen in full in PDF format.
While pay negotiations at the University of Birmingham started differently this year, we are now ending up in a very similar position to the Universities who remain in national pay bargaining for support staff. The pay year for both support staff and academic or related staff starts on the 1st August, and the offers made for all staff groups are considerably under the current rates of inflation.
UNISON’s consultation closed on Monday 6th June – full results are due to be announced next week but in brief terms, both support staff and academic or related staff rejected the offers as they stood at that point in time. Both pay offers represented a significant real terms pay cut. While the offer is higher for the lowest paid – inflation also hits these groups of staff harder, so all staff are let down by the offers on the table at present
While there could be encouraging results eventually from the pay spine talks for support staff, this would mean staff having to go through one of the hardest economic years on record with a real hit to their cost of living. The Uni can clearly afford to do more.
Offer for support staff
Most negotiations have focused on the need to fix the pay spine (the system that controls how much you are paid each year depending on how long you’ve worked at the University, and on your performance).
At the same time members voted in March to demand an emergency one-off payment of £750 because of huge rises in food prices, gas and electricity.
Following our consultation, the University has made a slightly improved offer:
- The University has offered a one off payment of £350 (pro-rata – so you’ll get less if you’re part-time, with a minmum payment of £50)
- This is what the pay offer now looks like for each band:
- Band 200 – 7.2%-5.25% (70p-59p increase per hour)
- Band 300 – 6.5%-4% (67p-48p increase per hour)
- Band 400 – 4.8%-4% (48p-58p increase per hour, but differs at different points)
- Band 500 – 4% (52p-65p increase per hour)
- The implementation date of January 2023 for pay spine reform remains the same
The current rate of inflation is estimated at 9%.
Offer for academic and related staff
Pay for staff on grade 6 and above is negotiated at the national level. These talks happen between representatives of all trade unions and the employers’ association, UCEA. Pay talks nationally have delivered lower amounts than those at the University for the past three years.
With inflation running at 9% presently it’s vital that all staff get a fair pay rise this year.
The final pay offer from the employers is a tapered one but for all AOR staff at the University it is 3% increase to salary. It represents a significant real terms pay cut for all staff.
With the cost of fuel, food and energy jumping up, we can’t afford less than an inflation-busting pay rise of at least RPI+2% and an end to poverty pay in higher education. That’s exactly what UNISON has been calling for throughout negotiations. We are worth more.
What happens next?
UNISON is currently consulting all staff on the current offer. This is on a slightly later schedule than national negotiations, partly to give the University more time to make a substantive offer to support staff. We are going to do our best to stick closely to the national timetable – after the close of the consultation members will meet to confirm next steps. The two options include:
- If members accept the offer we will communicate this to the University and move on to further talks on the pay spine for support staff
- If members reject the offer we will look at our options for moving to a formal legal ballot for industrial action
UNISON does of course remain open to any improvements or additions to the University’s offer – we know they can do more, and we call on them to make a better offer now in appreciation of the seriousness of the current situation.