National pay negotiations

UCEA conducts collective pay negotiations with the five HE trade unions - UCU, UNISON, Unite, EIS and GMB - on behalf of a significant number of UK HE institutions. This is done through the Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff (JNCHES). UCEA member institutions decide individually whether they will participate in each negotiating round to address the uplift to be applied to the national pay spine. The negotiations take place annually, between March and May. 

The University remains committed to the national bargaining arrangements via New JNCHES and is committed to constructive dialogue with the trade unions. Once agreed for implementation the University applies the uplift to all staff on non-clinical grades.

The key dates in the 2021/22 pay negotiations are set out below:

Dates and actions of the pay negotiations:
Date Action
26 March HE trade unions’ joint national claim
30 March Employers’ statement
31 March First New JNCHES negotiation meeting
14 April Second New JNCHES negotiation meeting

6 May

Third New JNCHES negotiation meeting 

July Dispute resolution meetings
1 August Date of effect for 2021-2022 pay uplift


At the third and final meeting UCEA made a final offer which guarantees increases of at least 1.5% to the pay spine. Higher percentage uplifts will be made to the pay points below Spine Point 22. Following the final offer, the trade unions undertook their respective processes to consider their responses and have invoked the New JNCHES dispute resolution process. These dispute resolution meetings are taking place in July.


Further information is available from UCEA  on the national pay negotiations and will be updated as the 2021/22 negotiations continue to progress.