For Staff

Industrial action

An image of the Parkinson building with the caption 'Industrial action'

This section carries our latest news and updates on industrial action taking place at Leeds


Our approach at Leeds

Industrial action is always challenging for our community and is even more so in the middle of a cost of living crisis. We do understand that these are difficult times for many of our staff and students, as they are for wider society. We are taking steps to help those that need it most, in line with our values of collaboration, compassion, inclusion and integrity.

It is important to stress that, while the two core issues at the heart of this dispute – nationally agreed pay rates and pensions – cannot be fixed by this University alone, we have been working constructively with our trades unions on related areas that we can address. These include issues around workload, employment terms, supporting our lowest paid staff, and fixed term contracts.  

Over the past few months, we’ve supported colleagues on fixed-term contracts to move to on-going employment contracts, and, in doing so, already reduced the total number of staff on fixed-term arrangements by 23%. During the first phase of this work, we have focused on staff with more than ten years’ service, and all but a handful of these colleagues have now moved to ongoing contracts. We will soon move on to other groups of colleagues on fixed term contracts.

We continue to pay the voluntary living wage and apply service-related salary increments. Recognising the impact on our staff community of increases in the cost of living being seen across the country, a payment of £650 was made in July 2022 to our lowest paid staff, (those in roles up to and including grade 6).

This payment was made in addition to the 2022/23 nationally-agreed pay award, which provided for a far greater uplift for staff on the lowest pay scales of up to 7.5%. 

This support aligns with our three Fairer future for all pledges:

  • Reduce short-term contracts and boost job security
     
  • Support a healthy and fulfilled staff community
     
  • Create opportunity and celebrate achievements.

On pensions, we want a scheme that is fair, sustainable and stable. The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) underwent a valuation in 2020, (with a further one due next year), and changes to the scheme were implemented from April 2022. This has helped to put the scheme on a more sustainable footing. 

We strive to be a compassionate, caring employer. We want a vibrant, healthy and fulfilled community, in which everyone is rewarded fairly, in a sustainable way, for what they do. And we want to create an environment that enables everyone to collaborate to help deliver first class education and world-leading research.

Our priorities and principles

Our priority throughout this time is to minimise any disruption to students and to ensure we continue to communicate with colleagues about the issues at the heart of this action. 

Our actions as a University community are guided by three underlying principles. These are to:

  1. Protect the interests of students 
     
  2. Retain the cohesion of our community 
     
  3. Protect the standard of Leeds degrees and other qualifications.

See also

USS Pension, In depth webpage
Links, news and resources relating to the USS Pension valuation process.

Questions and answers to help colleagues.

Updates

Industrial action

Email sent to all staff by Jennifer Sewel, University Secretary, on Wednesday 16 November.

UNISON has announced its intention to take industrial action

Strike action relating to the issue of pay is to take place at several universities, including Leeds.

Building a fairer future for all – increased annual leave and other commitments to you

A message to all staff from the Vice-Chancellor.

University of Leeds and Industrial Action

A message from the Vice-Chancellor about an agreement reached with University of Leeds branch of UCU

Security reminder | Working on campus

An email sent to all staff by Dennis Hopper on Friday 27 May.

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