The EIS has been running a statutory industrial action ballot for its members in the Higher Education Sector.

Members of the EIS University Lecturers’ Association (EIS-ULA) were being asked to support a programme of industrial action, up to and including strike action, in a long-running dispute over pay.

The dispute follows protracted negotiations at New JNCHES, the UK-wide negotiating body for pay in the Higher Education sector. Following the breakdown of negotiations, the Universities and Colleges Employers’ Association (UCEA) broke the principle of negotiating pay and imposed an offer that, for most EIS members (academic staff), amounts to a 1.5% pay uplift.

The imposition of a sub-inflation pay offer, a real-terms pay cut, is not a new action on the part of UCEA, as they previously followed a similar course of action in 2019.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “The EIS was left with little option but to ballot our members in the Higher Education sector, as a result of entrenched intransigence from the UCEA employers’ group. The differentiated offer imposed by the employers amounts to a 1.5% pay award for most EIS-ULA members – in effect, a significant real-terms pay cut for hard-working lecturing staff.” The ballot had not yet closed at the time that this SEJ went to print.