20 February 2023

Created on: 20 Feb 2023 | Last modified: 23 Feb 2023

ULA Bulletin

Dear Member

The 5 Joint Unions in the 2023/24 New JNCHES pay dispute met the employers in a series of meetings facilitated by ACAS last week.

The nature of such discussions is by necessity confidential until a statement can be agreed between the parties.

A statement regarding the principles of continuing talks has now been agreed.

This statement is far weaker than the EIS would have like to have seen. While it offers some limited progress in the form of agreement to at least discuss pay related matters, it is not currently a package capable of resolving the 2022-23 dispute or the 2023-24 pay dispute. Significant further progress would need to happen for our dispute to be resolved.

The EIS-ULA Executive Committee is due to meet and will be making decisions about whether to pause future action, however at the moment the strikes are on, unless we write to you to tell you something has changed. Careful consideration will be required on whether or not a pause in the action will achieve the necessary pressure on employers to improve their offer, in light of other unions pausing their action.

One of the pay related matters we wish to discuss is the pay spine, and while we hope that time limited negotiations may lead to a better outcome for members through that pay spine review, we are keen that grading also be considered as part of those discussions. Currently there is no commitment from UCEA that they will include this in the negotiations. This issue is one we will push through the next round of ACAS talks.

Discussions with ACAS will continue on Thursday with a view to having a term of reference for the review of the pay spine by the following week alongside workload, pay gaps and casualised contracts.

In the meantime, EIS-ULA will be approaching Scottish employers directly to ask them to look at what supplementary offers they can make at their institutions in order to resolve the pay disputes, in light of the progress made at Edinburgh Napier University in securing a local settlement. You can see this settlement here.

If you have any questions please contact your Branch Reps or email National Officer, Deborah Shepherd at dshepherd@eis.org.uk.