UNISON’s higher education pay ballot result and statement from the Higher Education Service Group Executive

The result of UNISON’s pay ballot result covering England Wales and Scotland can be found at this link:

In response to the result UNISON’s Higher Education Service Group Executive issued the following statement:

The UNISON Higher Education Service Group Executive is pleased that an overwhelming majority of HE members voted to take strike action in our recent pay ballot. We would like to thank those activists, branches and regions that put in significant work to achieve the result.

Unfortunately and frustratingly the government’s anti-democratic trade union laws, which impose a very high turnout threshold, mean that we are not able to fulfil our members’ wishes. The differing laws that cover the UK also mean that we still await the result of our ballot in Northern Ireland.

Other democratic processes such as the elections of members of parliaments, assemblies and councils see far lower votes, yet it is only trade union ballots that are subject to such a high threshold to make the vote legally valid.

This outcome will only further fuel the anger of our members who face yet another year of a below inflation pay rise. No university should pay any staff less than the Living Wage and employers should be ashamed that some of their staff are forced to go to food banks.

Next week our HE branch seminar will review the pay campaign, take heart at the positives and build for the next pay negotiations.

This result will inform our approach to next year’s pay negotiations and the employers should be in no doubt that we will again call for action if the HE employers do not meet our aspirations for a fair above inflation pay offer.


We’re currently holding an industrial action ballot – and we need your vote. We want you to vote YES to strike action for an improved pay offer.

If you need a new ballot paper please call 0800 0 857 857 before noon on Friday.

Your employer has offered:

  • a one-year pay deal of 2% for most people or £425 (up to 2.7%) (whichever is greater
  • 2% on London weighting
  • working groups on gender pay gap and casual employment.

But you deserve more.

Last month you were sent a ballot paper along with a freepost return envelope. It was sent to member’s home addresses

If you’ve moved, you didn’t receive your ballot paper or you need a new one for any reason, this is your last chance to order a replacement.

Just call our ballot hotline on 0800 0 857 857 before noon on Friday.

A new law means that at least 50% of members who are eligible to vote, must vote for industrial action for it to go ahead. So please vote and be heard – and ask your colleagues to vote too.

Finally, don’t forget you’ll need to return your paper before 10am on 25th October in order for your vote to count.

If you’ve got any questions, please do call the ballot hotline before it closes tomorrow at noon on Friday.