Dear member,

Today is the start of the online pay consultation for the 2022 pay offer which is:

3% overall and 9% on the lowest grade

The consultation will run from Wednesday, 11 May to Friday, 27 May. To vote, you will receive an email from UNISON with a link: click on the link and register your vote. If you do not receive an email by next week, let us know at unison@leeds.ac.uk and we will give you a website link to register your vote.

Please note: this is a CONSULTATION on the 2022 pay offer and does not affect our current strike mandate at the University of Leeds, which runs to 28 June. Info on further strike dates will come out shortly.

The outcome of this consultation will inform the decision as to whether the Branch will ballot for formal strike action on the 2022 pay offer of 3%. Please use your vote. You can let us know you’ve voted by emailing unison@leeds.ac.uk and we can remove you from the reminders list at regional/national level.

To the bones of the offer itself:

  • 3% – we’re sure many will be surprised at this offer, in that it is double last year’s offer. This shows two things; firstly the employer has the money to make a fair and decent pay offer and has for years; secondly, our strike action and the action at other Universities has had an impact. They are talking about our action at a high level. They want it to stop and so they’ve offered us a little more, in the hope that we will shut up and go away.
  • A little more is not good enough. Inflation is expected to hit 10% in the summer; energy bills have risen to extraordinary levels and are due to rise again in October; food bills have risen (see our real-life example below); council tax has gone up; internet/mobile phone prices have risen; NI contributions have gone up. Everything is rising except our pay. 3% won’t cover the expense of living for you or your family.
  • We will have some figures shortly to send out showing what this offer looks like in real terms: but on current data alone this 3% equates to a 7% loss against inflation THIS YEAR.
  • Let’s be clear about the 9% for the lower grades: this 9% consists of a 5.8% rise which is legally required of all employers to meet the National Minimum Wage, with 3.2% on top of that to match the offer for higher grades. This is not a generous offer from employers who care about their lowest paid staff, it is a legal requirement they are trying to pass off as compassion. All this will do is compress even further the lower grades at universities.

One of our reps has costed out their weekly shopping, like-for-like, from last year and this year. There has been a 12% increase – £13 per week. That’s £676 per year extra for food. A 12% increase in supermarket prices will not be covered by a measly 3% pay rise.

The fundamental point is that this offer would push us all to a 25% decrease in salary over the last 12 years: a quarter of the worth of your job has gone because the employer refuses to pay you fairly for the work you do.

We encourage you to vote and to vote to REJECT this offer.

In solidarity,

Branch Committee.

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