UNISON is to re-ballot its members in response to the University and Colleges Employment Association’s (UCEA) August pay offer, it has informed the University of Manchester.
The ballot will be open from November 30 until December 21, after what the Union claims is a “below inflation pay rise” in the 2022-23 higher education pay award.
The August pay award tabled a 9% increase for staff on pay point 19 or lower (£24,871) and a minimum of a 3% pay rise for staff on pay point 20 or above (£25,627).
This was negotiated through the UCEA, which represents 145 higher education employers, and the New Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff (New JNCHES), which represents the five higher education trade unions, including UNISON.
Due to RPI inflation hitting 14.2%, UNISON argue “this pay rise [of 3%] is a pay cut”. Therefore, UNISON members are striking for “a pay rise that keeps up with inflation”.
UNISON is the UK’s largest cross-sector union. It represents higher education members employed directly by universities.
These roles include: IT and administration staff, cleaners, library and sports centre services, and Students’ Union services.
The University of Manchester has stated that they “recognise how important pay is to colleagues” and that they “are committed to the fundamental importance of the University remaining a great place to work”.
UCEA and UNISON negotiations are held at a national level therefore, despite acting as a strong voice in discussions, the University of Manchester cannot independently affect pay changes in response to the industrial action.
Nonetheless, the University of Manchester took to StaffNet to remind employees of internal measures set out to ameliorate the effects of the cost-of-living crisis, such as their cost-of-living support package and the University’s status as a Real Living Wage Employer.
Results of the UNISON ballot are expected shortly after the closing date of December 21.