This is to advise you that a special meeting of senior representatives across UK Universities met in Coventry on the 14th August to count the returns in the consultative ballot on the New JNCHES negotiations.
You will recall the main items in UCEA’s offer was a 0.5% uplift in pay scales but a refusal to negotiate on a national job security and redundancy avoidance agreement.
The chief scrutineer John Toner Regional Organiser for Unite assisted by Diane Massie from University of Aberdeen and John Hannigan from Strathclyde University declared the result as follows:-
- Percentage of members voting to reject the offer 83%
- Percentage of members voting to accept the offer 15%
- Percentage of members wishing to record an abstention 2%
The meeting gave approval for a letter to be sent to UCEA’s Chief Executive Jocelyn Prudence confirming Unite members rejection of the UCEA offer and advising the matter was now a disputed matter between Unite and UCEA. I also wrote to UCEA Chair Professor Sir Bill Wakeham.
The next steps under the NEW JNCHES dispute procedure is for Unite and UCEA within 7 days of notification to agree meetings seeking to find a satisfactory solution. I am awaiting UCEA coming back on a date for that meeting.
If that process fails the disputes procedure allows for a meeting possibly at ACAS to seek to resolve the issues. I can’t say at this stage if that meeting will be needed or approved by UCEA or Unite negotiators.
Other unions are still consulting although UCU are technically in dispute following a previous problem with the NEW JNCHES negotiations.
Your Unite negotiators will be pressing for UCEA to move as the letters indicate especially not to refuse to negotiate on the very important matter of job security, as well as seeking something that uplifts pay especially for low paid staff if inflation rises into 2010.
Obviously if discussions break down a formal ballot is open to us. Your negotiators again ask for your trust on this matter and we will do all we can to find a solution before looking at this option.
I have already indicated that it is important to make sure any data on members is up to date and correct. I have previously sent out a form for members to sign with any new address or membership changes. Please work closely with your local Regional Official to ensure the membership database is up to date.
I will write again once the meeting with UCEA has taken place. Can you please sign the petition .