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Annual pay review process under way

The annual process for reviewing basic pay in UK universities has begun.

Each year the basic pay uplift for staff in the higher education sector is negotiated via a committee, known as JNCHES (the Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff).

The basic pay uplift is in addition to any incremental salary increases that staff receive annually through moving up spinal points on the salary scale.

The negotiations are conducted in a three-phase process to allow employers and unions the opportunity to respond to the other’s position with a view to reaching agreement.

Negotiations for the basic pay uplift for 2018-19 began on 18 March. The latest negotiations took place on Friday 13 April and the final meeting will happen on 10 May.

UCEA (Universities and Colleges Employers Association) represents the participating employers at JNCHES and negotiates with the five higher education trade unions: EIS, GMB, UCU, UNISON and Unite.

On Friday 13 April, UCEA put forward its proposal at JNCHES, a position that matches last year’s pay outcome agreement.

What is JNCHES?

The Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff (JNCHES) comprises six representatives of the employers, nominated by UCEA; and 16 representatives of the higher education staff unions, apportioned on a basis agreed between the unions and including a number of observers.

The meetings are chaired alternately by a representative of the employers and a representative of the unions. JNCHES is responsible for negotiation of the pay and related matters that are determined at a national level.

What is UCEA?

The Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) aims to provide members with advice and guidance on employment matters relevant to the higher education sector.

As a membership organisation, of which the University of Sussex is one, it negotiates on behalf of UK higher education institutions as employers to all stakeholders.

Which unions are involved in the negotiations?

The five higher education trade unions involved are EIS, GMB, UCU, UNISON and Unite. Read more about the trade unions’ joint claim.

When can I expect to find out more?

Following the latest JNCHES meeting on Friday 13 April and the proposal made by UCEA, it is likely that a response from the unions involved will be shared in the coming days. This proposal from UCEA will then be negotiated at the final meeting on 10 May. 

The aim is for an agreement to be made before 1 August 2018; however, in previous years this has happened past this date and any pay uplift has been backdated.

The University will provide staff with another update, with a reminder on where to find the latest information, following the final negotiation meeting on 10 May.

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Posted on behalf of: Human Resources
Last updated: Friday, 20 April 2018

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