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Durham University

Human Resources & Organisational Development

Pay negotiation

Latest Update: 27 August 2020

The new pay negotiations have been taking place for 2020-21 between UCEA and trade unions representatives. UCEA have, on behalf of employers, proposed that no uplift will be applied to the values of the pay spine points for 2020-21. The Trade Unions have all decided to reject this proposal but are willing to continue discussions on the non-pay elements, these will be ongoing through September and October. The full UCEA statement can be found here.

Update: 27 May 2020

On 1 April 2020 UCEA sent a full and final version of the proposals on pay and non-pay items to UCU, following a series of meetings between UCEA and UCU. UCEA confirmed that there was no scope to negotiate on the contents. UCU responded to UCEA on 14 May 2020, noting that the negotiations for 2019-20 are effectively over. UCU will now consult its branches on the final position.

Update: 21 April 2020

UCEA and the joint trade unions have announced that the negotiations on this year's pay round (2020-21) have been delayed for the foreseeable future due to Covid-19. The full joint statement can be viewed here.

Update: 16 March 2020

Following the ballots held during September and October 2019, UCU commenced fourteen days of further strike action on Thursday 20th February 2020. UCU served statutory notice of their intention to re-ballot for industrial action in relation to the pay negotiations and USS, however on 15th March 2020 UCU announced that the re-ballots have been postponed due to Covid-19.

Update: 31 January 2020

Please find below an update included within Dialogue Signposts:

UCEA/UCU pay dispute - new proposals published

The Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) and the University and College Union (UCU) have been in intensive discussions over the last few months to try to resolve the current pay dispute. These discussions have resulted in a modified offer from UCEA, which was presented without prejudice to all trade unions on 27 January. Information on the new proposals, which aim to address the issues around casual employment, workload, gender pay gaps/ethnicity pay, can be found at: https://www.ucea.ac.uk/our-work/collective-pay-negotiations-landing/Current-pay-negotiations/

Update: 20 January 2020

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 commenced industrial action on Monday 28th November 2019 with eight days of strike action. UCEA is continuing to hold talks with UCU on the pay claim, which includes the discussion of the non-pay elements of the union claim.

We will keep staff informed of any updates or developments. A copy of the all staff email sent on 15 October 2019 can be found here.

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%