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Second round of pay talks sees increased offer from employers

Employers and the unions have yet to reach an agreement over pay for 2019-20 after the second round of negotiations ended with a slightly higher offer of a 1.5 per cent rise.

Talks between the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (Ucea) and five higher education trade unions—comprising the Education Institute of Scotland, the GMB, Unison, Unite and the University and College Union (UCU)—on 11 April closed with an offer of a 1.5 per cent envelope split across the pay scale, with up to 2.5 per cent rise for those on the lowest salaries.

This is slightly higher than the 1.3 per cent envelope offered during the first round of negotiations on 26 March. The unions had originally asked for a 3 per cent rise plus retail price index inflation, which is also 3 per cent, or a rise of £3,349, whichever is greater. They also requested action to close the gender pay gap, reach a 35-hour working week in universities and an end to zero-hours contracts.

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