Universities and trade unions have agreed to pay a proportion of the pay settlement for 2023-24 six months before the usual uplift date, in recognition of the ‘urgent inflationary pressures’ faced by staff.
The Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), which represents higher education providers in pay negotiations, and several trade unions have concluded their negotiations for the 2023-24 pay round, in a week of discussions facilitated by Acas.
Staff will receive a pay increase of 5-8%, with staff at the lower-end of the pay scale receiving a greater pay increase.
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Although the pay round begins in August 2023, a proportion will be paid from February as the cost of living continues to surge. However, staff are not due to receive this in their pay packets until March, as UCEA and unions enter a “period of calm” while Acas facilitates separate discussions around other areas including a revised pay spine and commitments around workload, contracts and pay gaps.
The pay offer, the highest in 20 years, was initially rejected by unions in January.
Raj Jethwa, UCEA’s chief executive said: “UCEA accepted Acas’ services as the right thing to do in an attempt to reach a settlement and to meet our original objective of getting an affordable uplift to all staff sooner than usual. Despite strike action and further threats of disruption, and in recognition of how inflation disproportionately affects lower paid staff, employers remain committed to this early implementation. Our intention is to see this is paid in March pay packets, backdated to February. It will be unfair to delay the early pay uplift to all staff any longer.”
The UCEA and trade unions including the University and College Union, Unison, Unite, GMB and Educational Institute of Scotland released a joint statement about progress in other areas of the dispute.