The joint HE unions that are now part of New JNCHES (Unite, Unison, GMB and EIS) meet on the 18th December to begin formulating the sector pay claim. As you will know from previous reports UCU have excluded themselves from New JNCHES and so will not be part of the claim formulation.
The HENIC meeting last week set out Amicus Unite’s draft pay claim arrangements and these have been supplemented by further additions from our T&G colleagues who also had a national meeting last week. Our Unite draft now includes the following
- Extend the ability to negotiate above existing pay spine points.
- Remove the bottom 2 points on the scale as a means of uplifting lower paid employees
- Contribution points to be part of normal progression
- Substantial increase in pay above RPI or a minimum lump sum (possibly minimum £625 pa or based on a percentage of median pay level within the sector)
- Reduction in hours to 35 hours per week (or as an agreed phased reduction with proper timescales).
- Improvements in shift or on-call premia
- A one year deal on pay only.
- Holidays for all HEI’s to be a minimum of 30 days plus statutory.
- Reserve the right to submit further items for negotiations should UCEA enter into negotiations outside of NEW JNCHES. Ensure that any settlement is reserved and subject to no other group within the sector negotiating any different amounts.
These draft pay claim items will now be consolidated in a full claim once other joint unions have met. As I stated earlier this is being organised for the 18th December 2008.
The New JNCHES unions are due to present the full claim at the March 2009 negotiations meetings, arranged so that the UCEA and HEI’s will be in a position to respond, as they would have been in receipt of funding council award letters by that time.
There is no doubt that the 2009 negotiations will be a difficult round especially as we await the impact on student numbers for 2009-2010 and the economic outlook which looks gloomy. However the sector itself is in reasonable shape and if student numbers and funding streams hold up there is no reason why you should not enjoy improvements to terms and conditions.
Please advise members Unite will do all it can to negotiate an acceptable settlement and protect jobs and improve terms and conditions.
On behalf of the Officers and staff covering the higher education sector in Unite Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Mike Robinson – National Officer – Higher Education