Vote NO in the higher education consultative ballot

In real terms, you have suffered a 21% cut in pay since 2009.

Unite is recommending that its members should vote to REJECT the employer’s latest pay offer of: 

  • 2% increase for staff on the pay spine points or £425, whichever is the higher, from 1 August 2018.  Although if a Higher Education Institution is in serious financial difficulty it may defer implementation of the above increases by up to 11 months in order to minimise job losses.

There were further elements of our pay claim that were minimally addressed in the employer’s offer including:.HE Pay Ballot
  • Joint work to address the gender pay gap
  • Casual employment 
  • Excessive workloads
  • Long working hours
  • Scottish sub-committee
You can see the employers’ full offer here.

Make sure YOU use your vote
It is important that you have your say in this consultative ballot, and we urge you to use your vote by returning the ballot paper in the prepaid envelope.  


If you do not receive a ballot paper please contact Dawn Anderson at the Holborn Head Office on 0203 371 2017, giving your name, membership number, full postal address and a brief message.

Please note universities not participating in the ballot are:

  • University of Dublin Trinity College 
  • Imperial 
  • University of Birmingham 
  • University of Derby 
  • Keele University 
  • University of Nottingham 
  • Nottingham Trent University

Why you should vote NO to the national pay offer
We recognise that this offer is below the rate of inflation, and means that our salaries would not keep up with the rise in the cost of living, and constitutes a pay cut in real terms.

Although Unite lower paid members will achieve the foundation living wage with this offer, it does nothing to address pay drift for those higher up the spine points or indeed pay drift to all other elements of the spines including the lower end. 

Can our employers afford a pay rise?
Yes, Universities have enjoyed a 33.1% increase in income in the last five years, the operating surpluses have increased by 176.83% and reserves are up by 259.04%. At the same time, staff costs as a percentage of expenditure have fallen by 1.9%.

The average increase to vice chancellor pay last year was 3.2% and the average pay for the last academic year is £289,756. 22 institutions have more than 100 members of staff earning over £100,000 per annum.

What is the consultative ballot for?
We are carrying out a consultative ballot to assess the strength of feeling among members. We hope the result of the ballot will send a message to the university employers that enough is enough. 

We will ask the employers to come back to the negotiations with a better pay offer, and also assess the strength of feeling among our members to formally ballot for industrial action if needed.  

Vote NO and be ready to step up action.