Today, all three campus unions (UCU, Unison, Unite) have jointly written to the Director of HR, to complain about attempts contained in HR communications to misdirect staff in about the current pay and equality negotiations. This is a repeated complaint about behaviour we have also raised in previous rounds of national pay negotiations. Please see below this email for the full text.
Please remember we have until 12 noon on Wednesday 27 June to vote in our internal, “indicative ballot” over whether to accept UCEA’s pay and equality offer in response to the joint union claim. UCU advises that you vote to REJECT the pay offer and to vote YES to a willingness to take industrial action. See [here] for a reminder of why UCU advises this in light of a derisory pay offer (especially when placed in context of pay erosion) and very little of note offered on the equality and casualisation aspects of the joint claim. It also reminds you how to find the link to make your vote, and what to do if you can’t find the email. Turnout really matters, and will strengthen the hand of our negotiators – please vote asap!
See also [here] for analysis of how the latest pay offer compares with pay settlements elsewhere.
Regarding the recent announcement on the University’s web pages detailing the employers’ “final offer” in the national pay negotiations: https://www.leeds.ac.uk/forstaff/news/article/6150/pay_2018-19_final_offer_detail
You may well remember that in August 2017 the unions had cause to complain about the attempts to misdirect staff in communications about that year’s pay negotiations. Unfortunately it seems to all three campus unions that the University is indulging itself in the same behaviour again this year.
Once again you are seeking to conflate different reward systems in the minds of the readers of this communication, trying to convince staff that the pay settlement put forward by the employers is a good deal for staff by deliberately including figures for incremental rises that staff will accrue, as long as they are not at the top of their pay scale point, as part of this negotiation in an attempt to make it sound better than it is. Even so, your own figures demonstrate that staff eligible for the negotiated pay rise plus an incremental rise amount to a minority of the staff working at Leeds.
We reassert, incremental rises do not form a part of this negotiation. The attempt to conflate them with those negotiations is a deliberate attempt to obfuscate and cause confusion. The pay offer is 2% (except for those at the bottom of the pay scale). This would be the ninth successive year of below inflation pay rises in Higher Education. The HE sector has, according to the latest available figures, a surplus of more than £1 billion. The sector is getting ever richer as staff pay falls ever more behind what we used to earn.
The time has come for Universities to pay a fair reward for the hard work, knowledge and expertise that employees at all levels bring to their respective roles, rather than trying to reduce what they see as the ‘financial burden’ of staff, whether through low rises in pay, reduction in the security of employment or indeed the security of our pensions.
Nick Allen, UNISON
Jo Westerman, Unite
Vicky Blake, UCU
cc. Alan Langlands