Following positive national negotiations between the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA - which represents the universities) and the University and College Union (UCU), I am pleased to advise that strike action has been paused for this and next week.
To clarify, this means that strike action will not now take place on 21, 22, 23, 27, 28 February and 1, 2 March - which had been identified as strike days.
As a reminder, a final pay offer was made of between 8% and 5% from August 2023, with a proportion to be paid with effect from February 2023, fully recognising the inflationary pressures facing staff.
During the dispute resolution discussions, both UCEA and the trade unions agreed that further progress was made on the uplift at the lower end of the pay spine and that a pay impasse, rather than agreement, has been reached. At this stage, this ends the negotiations and discussions for pay specifically.
Both parties also agreed to continue with talks this week to determine the jointly agreed work necessary on other priority issues. These include a review of the national pay spine, negotiations on employment contract types, workload and pay gaps.
It was agreed that discussions will continue, with the assistance of mediation body Acas, until the end of this month, seeking to agree the more detailed terms of reference and timescales for negotiations on these issues.
As part of last week’s meetings, both parties agreed the need to allow for a period of calm during the further discussions taking place this month. It was agreed that no further industrial action will take place until the beginning of March at the earliest, with the next strike date notified to us not until 16 March.
The University views this as positive progress in the national negotiations and a further update will be provided in due course. This will include further news about the implementation of the pay uplift, noting UCEA’s intention to advise universities to implement in March 2023.