UNISON is balloting members in higher education in August /September, urging them to vote ‘Yes’ for strike action for better pay. The decision of the higher education service group executive was taken following a consultation with branches. The employers have so far refused to increase their 1.1% offer for the majority of staff that does not deliver the Living Wage for the lowest paid.

The average pay rise for Vice Chancellors in 2014/15 was a whopping 6.1% rising to an average of £274,405!

UNISON has called the offer deeply hypocritical – as staff are offered a miserly 1.1% to cover their rising household bills – while at the same Vice Chancellors have called for a 2.8% increase in tuition fees in England to cover University ‘costs’.

Despite low inflation, essential costs such as Council Tax, water bills, public transport and car parking have all gone up this year.

UNISON believes that an increase is affordable – money is available for a higher pay increase this year universities holding cash surpluses of nearly £21billion! And the need for our members is urgent.

The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales reported a total surplus of £60m, while the English funding body (HEFCE) reported in March 2016 a surplus of nearly £1.8 bn! Scotland Universities posted a surplus of £166m and Northern Ireland had a surplus of £27m.

UNISON believes that universities can afford to improve on their miserly offer.

Ballot opens 30 August 2016 and closes on 19 September 2016.  Ballot hotline 0800 0857 857


Inverst in me 2The continuing gender pay gap in universities is shameful.

There has been a drop in engagement with the trade unions on local job evaluation panels. These panels are responsible for grading job roles. If UNISON is not involved this means we cannot be sure that the grading structures in place are sufficiently robust.

We want proper involvement, transparency and accountability for pay and grading.




Are you making the most of The Deal?

The Deal Team would like to invite you to The Deal Roadshow on Tuesday 6 September 2016 in Firth Hall, Firth Court between 11.30am and 2.30pm – you are welcome to drop in at any time.

The Deal Roadshow will bring together all The Deal benefit providers in a special event to help you find out how to make the most of The Deal  read more



The UK government has announced that universities will have certainty over future funding and should continue to bid for competitive EU funds while the UK remains a member of the EU.

Where UK organisations bid directly to the European Commission on a competitive basis for EU funding projects while we are still a member of the EU.

For example, universities participating in Horizon 2020, the Treasury will underwrite the payments of such awards, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU.

This means the University of Manchester will receive £5 million funding for the     Graphene Engineering     Innovation Centre (GEIC). This will fund equipment needed for a new facility which will exploit and     maintain the UK’s world-leading position in graphene and related 2-D materials.

The Scottish government has announced a £100m investment package to stimulate the economy.

The commitment by the UK Government also means that £40m for Swansea University’s new Bay Campus is secure, along with £9.3m for the Beacon project helping develop the low carbon industry.

In addition, UK universities will start to look to other non-EU Universities to undertake research.

UK Universities have a global reputation and will start to explore relationships with other global partners in countries such as US, India, Australia and New Zealand as well as the EU.