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Pay Agreement 2006-09
This Update reports the good news that agreement has now been reached with all HE trade unions on the basis for pay increases for 2006-09 and associated statements. The unions will be recommending this Agreement to their executives and members.
- As reported in UCEA Updates 06:77 and 06:78, the employers made a reconfigured final pay offer for 2006-09 at JNCHES negotiations on 30 May. The support staff unions undertook to recommend this to their executives, but the offer was not acceptable to the academic unions.
- Subsequent exchanges with the academic unions led to further discussions on Friday, facilitated by the TUC and ACAS. Those discussions identified the basis for a possible accommodation with UCU (the newly merged AUT/NATFHE). Details were circulated to Heads of Institution over the weekend, and UCEA received a near-unanimous response that an agreement on this basis was acceptable provided that it delivered an immediate end to UCU's industrial action. The union conducted its own consultation in parallel.
- Emergency meetings of the two JNCHES negotiating sub-committees were arranged for today to formally consider an agreement on the basis discussed and to bring an end to the disputes instigated by AUT and NATFHE.
- A copy of the Pay Agreement for 2006-09 finalised at these JNCHES meetings is attached.
- Subscribers will see that this Agreement includes two main features:
- a 3 year settlement on pay rates for 2006-09, with increases by October 2008 totalling 13.1%;
- an independently-chaired, joint review of HE financial and pay data to report by autumn 2008 to inform negotiations on pay for 2009-10.
It also includes important provisions: allowing HEIs in financial difficulty to defer pay increases; agreeing a review of the JNCHES negotiating machinery; confirming issues about equalities in implementation of the Framework Agreement; addressing the support unions' aspirations on the length of the working week; and agreeing an immediate end to UCU's industrial action.
- As relayed to Heads of Institution at the weekend, the provisions on pay increases and the review of financial data vary at the margin from those offered on 30 May, as follows:
- the October 2008 pay increase will match RPI if that is greater than 2.5%;
- the negotiations on pay for 2009-10 may allow scope for reflection on 2008-09 pay levels if the review provides evidence that HEIs could have afforded greater improvement.
- The Agreement includes explicit references to an immediate end to all industrial action, and rapid progress with all delayed student assessment (particularly for final year students).
- Three of the four support staff union executives (Unison, TGWU and GMB) have already decided to consult their members with a recommendation to accept. The Unite (formerly Amicus) executive meets tomorrow (7 June) and will receive a positive recommendation from its negotiators.
- The UCU will be issuing a statement this evening calling off the industrial action with immediate effect, and later this week will launch a ballot of their members with a recommendation to accept the JNCHES Agreement.
- The EIS/ULA's executive will meet on 21 June to consider the Agreement and other developments (including the outcome of its ballot on industrial action which has been rather overtaken by events).
- The UCEA Subscribers meeting on Thursday 8 June - starting at 2pm at the Novotel London Euston Hotel, 100-110 Euston Road, London NW1 (see Update 06:79) - will provide an opportunity to discuss the detail of the JNCHES Agreement and any issues about the ending of the industrial action.
- UCEA will also circulate a more detailed commentary later this week.
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©UCEA June 2006