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Representing Technical, Scientific and Specialist Medical Support Staff at University College London, School of Pharmacy, Institute of Education, Royal Institution of Great Britain

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Framework Agreement

The Pay and Grading Framework was presented to the Joint Negotiation Committee for Higher Education Staff (JNCHES) in the summer of 2003. All seven unions in JNCHES (Amicus, AUT, EIS, GMB, NATFHE, TGWU and UNISON) balloted their members, with all unions accepting the Framework early in 2004.

Linked to the Framework was a two year pay deal of 3.44% (minimum 550 raise) from August 2003 and a further 3% from August 2004.

The framework requires all institutions to evaluate all their jobs, to ensure equal pay for work of equal value, and to develop locally new grading structures based around a single 51 point pay scale.

Institutions are also required to harmonise the terms and conditions of all staff (eg length of working week and amount of annual leave).

For information on how this is being applied in your institution follow the links to your institution in the side bar. Separate pages will cover Job Evaluation and how this is being used locally.


History of the Amicus Ballot to Accept

All members were balloted on the question of whether Amicus should accept the Pay & Grading Framework Agreement. The ballots were conducted at local level by the Branches and workplace groups.

At UCL a postal ballot of members was held. 80% of members voted to reject the Framework Agreement, a position similarly voted by other London universities. However, at a national level 70% of members had voted to accept.

Why did we vote against it?

The recommendation to reject the Framework Agreement was on the following grounds:

  1. The pay rises tied to the deal were insufficient
  2. The job evaluation scheme to be used would be determined locally rather than nationally
  3. The new grading structures would be determined locally rather than nationally
  4. That the above two points would make comparison of jobs between universities impossible
  5. That this would also leave open the door to employers for full local negotiations, as only one element would remain subject to national bargaining - the annual pay award
  6. Pay protection is limited to 4 years for staff whose jobs are evaluated as being "overpaid" - in the NHS agenda for Change scheme pay protection is for 7 years.

What is our position now?

We are bound by the result of the national ballot. As such we are committed to local negotiations with the employer. Our position now is to negotiate the best possible outcome for our members.

To this end, our negotiators need to work closely with those from our sister unions AUT and UNISON. We also need to ensure that we have reps trained in job evaluation to provide advice and representation to our members during the process.

This has started. We are working closely with our colleagues in AUT and UNISON and have achieved some significant successes. We have some reps who have received training, and more being trained.

However, we are still pushing for a negotiating position at national level that there should be a single job evaluation scheme applying to all universities, and a single national grading structure.