On 17 February UNISON members passed a motion calling for urgent improvements to the University’s offer on pay spine reform (and changes to conditions). This gave University management until the start of this week to come back to us. Unfortunately they have confirmed that they are not willing to negotiate at this stage.
While this is disappointing, we feel that it leaves members no alternative but to vote to reject the University’s offer. Everything we have heard from members in the last two weeks points to there being significant risks in accepting the proposal as it stands now:
- Staff who work significant amounts of overtime have estimated that they could face big cuts in their overall pay if the changes come in to force – and they have yet to receive any calculations from HR to reassure them that this isn’t the case
- The changes to allowances reduce the incentives for working antisocial hours on a voluntary basis. This increases the likelihood we’ll all face pressure to work evenings and weekends on a compulsory basis.
- The University’s insistence on changing conditions has delayed the pay rise we are due by more than six months. When we voted to accept their pay offer last year this was on the understanding all staff would receive a pay rise in January – and this is something they are now refusing to do.
You can read more about the proposals on our dedicated pay spine webpage (we are currently updating it with the latest information).
All UNISON members will be given an opportunity to vote on the proposals in our branch-wide consultation, due to open very soon. For the reasons laid out above, we recommend you vote to reject.
If members do vote to reject, we will commence dispute resolution processes with the University while also considering our other options for escalation. All staff at the University deserve a pay rise, paid promptly and without unnecessary strings attached.