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Chamber and committees

Higher Education Workers' Dispute

  • Submitted by: Katy Clark, West Scotland, Scottish Labour.
  • Date lodged: Thursday, 06 October 2022
  • Motion reference: S6M-06216
  • Current status: Taken in the Chamber on Thursday, 17 November 2022

That the Parliament notes the recent industrial action by university staff following the closure of the UNISON higher education pay ballot on 19 August 2022; further notes that staff at the University of Glasgow, Edinburgh Napier University and Robert Gordon University represented by UNISON, which include cleaners, administrators and library, catering and security workers, most recently took strike action on 3 and 4 October; understands that the Universities and Colleges Employers Association’s (UCEA) final offer of 3%, or 7.2% for the lowest paid workers, is sub-inflationary as the current CPI rate is 9.9% and the current RPI rate is 12.3%; considers that UCEA’s offer has been imposed on university staff despite being subject to a live dispute with the trade unions, and that such impositions also occurred in 2021 and 2020; understands that the trade unions, University and College Union, Educational Institute of Scotland-University Lecturers' Association and Unite, are at varying stages of consulting or balloting their members for action in the same dispute; believes that industrial relations in the sector have deteriorated to an unacceptable level; notes the view that the staff do incredible work and deserve to be recognised fairly and paid properly; further notes the belief that the Scottish Government must urge universities and UCEA to take meaningful steps to negotiate a fair resolution to these disputes, and notes the calls on universities and UCEA to return to the negotiating table in the interests of workers and students.

Supported by: Jackie Baillie, Jeremy Balfour, Foysol Choudhury, Richard Leonard, Colin Smyth, Paul Sweeney, Mercedes Villalba (Registered interest)