Vice Chancellors told to hide whether they support staff pay rises

They’re being told not to break ranks as negotiations drag on

Uni Vice Chancellors are being told to hide whether they support staff pay rises, as part of the negotiations over strikes.

UCEA – the organisation representing unis in the negotiations – said in an email sent to heads of institutions and seen by The Tab, that unis should refuse to say whether their leaders support demands for pay rises.

VCs are being urged not to break ranks and undermine UCEA’s “single collective position” on pay uplift, in the face of UCU branches asking individual VCs if they support pay rises.

The email, sent on Thursday by UCEA’s chief executive says: “As the representative of higher education institutions on pay and workforce issues, UCEA has a single collective position on the pay uplift, which we have communicated clearly and consistently to UCU’s negotiating team.

“We assume that UCU represents faithfully the position of its own membership and we expect them to respect our internal processes. We would, therefore, ask institutions to refrain from responding to this request.”

In Sheffield, the local UCU branch marched on Vice Chancellor Koen Lamberts’ office to ask him to reveal his stance on pay rises and pension contributions.

The email ends: “We are happy for this message to be shared with your local UCU representatives and with your staff more widely, should you judge that to be helpful.”

Despite this, some universities have made public whether they support pay rises for staff, with UEA saying “no” and Exeter saying “yes”.

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