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Durham University

Human Resources & Organisational Development

Pay negotiation

Update on 2019-20 pay negotiation as at 12 September 2019

All five HE trade unions are in dispute over the outcome of the 2019-20 pay round. The final pay offer made by UCEA (details of which can be found below) was rejected in April and the JNCHES dispute resolution meetings were held in July as per the new JNCHES procedure. Please find attached here a message from 19 August 2019 regarding the outcome of the negotiations from the Human Resources and Organisation Development Team.

UCU and UNISON opened ballots for industrial action on 9 September and these will run until 30 October, these two trade unions are additionally in dispute over USS. Unite and EIS have now confirmed their ballot plans and GMB is considering which HEIs to ballot.

We will keep staff informed of developments as the trade unions determine their next steps with members.

For further information from UCEA on pay trends over recent years, please see here.

Reminder of the content of the final offer

The UCEA negotiating team met with the five trade unions on Tuesday 30 April in the last of the three negotiating meetings for the 2019-20 new JNCHES pay round.

UCEA made a final pay offer with a modelled sector-level cost of 1.85%. The final offer includes the deletion of spine point 2 and the weighted increases mean that the new lowest point 3 will provide an hourly rate at £8.65 on a 37-hour week that would be able to meet the expected National Living Wage from April 2020; the lowest point would also exceed the prevailing (current) voluntary living wage for those employers operating a 35-hour working week.

Please note Durham University implemented changes to our terms and conditions of employment in 2018 which means any contracted member of staff is paid at least spine point 4 (currently £9.04 p/h) so these proposed changes to the bottom of the pay spine will not impact Durham..

Background

The University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) is responsible for representing the participating employers in the JNCHES (Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff) negotiations on the basic pay uplift for 2019 – 20. UCEA negotiates with the five Higher Education trade unions (EIS, GMB, UCU, UNISON and Unite). Please note we do not recognise EIS at Durham.

The full trade union claim was submitted on 19 March 2019. Meetings were held on 26 March, 11 April and 30 April, with the primary focus being the base pay uplift to be applied to the national pay spine.

The base pay uplift is an annual increase (often referred to as cost of living). This is further enhanced at Durham by the opportunity for pay progression for staff who are not yet at the top of their grade. Durham University also has a number of contribution related pay schemes (Exceptional Contribution Payments, Discretionary Awards and Merit Rewards) which many staff will benefit from.

UCEA is negotiating on Durham University’s behalf in relation to the base pay uplift against a backdrop of continuing financial challenges and funding restraint as well as Brexit related uncertainty.

Durham University recognises that we are operating in a challenging and volatile environment at this time, with a lack of certainty about future developments which may impact upon the sector. However, we also recognise that our staff are by far our most important asset in delivering for all of our stakeholders and achieving the objectives set out within our strategy.

We believe that through constructive and realistic negotiations a settlement can be reached that is both fair to colleagues and affordable within this sector-wide and multi-union arrangement; it is important that an outcome achieves the best balance of interests for all parties.

We continue to offer a number of benefits to staff including highly competitive pension schemes, generous leave allowances (including maternity leave etc), staff discounts, development opportunities, flexible working options and an onsite nursery.For further details on the full range of benefits, please see here.

An offer of base pay uplifts to the New JNCHES pay spine points, from 1 August 2019, on points 2 to 16 as set out below.

Salary from 1 August 2018 and 2019 (£)

% increase

2*

15,842

16,420

3.65%

3

16,146

16,736

3.65%

4

16,460

17,046

3.56%

5

16,766

17,361

3.55%

6

17,079

17,682

3.53%

7

17,408

18,009

3.45%

8

17,751

18,342

3.33%

9

18,189

18,709

2.86%

10

18,688

19,133

2.38%

11

19,202

19,612

2.14%

12

19,730

20,130

2.03%

13

20,275

20,675

1.97%

14

20,836

21,236

1.92%

15

21,414

21,814

1.87%

16

22,017

22,417

1.82%

17

22,659

23,067

1.80%

18

23,334

23,754

1.80%

19

24,029

24,461

1.80%

20

24,771

25,217

1.80%