Higher education unions have agreed to re-open talks on pay and conditions amid ongoing strike action that has affected 150 UK universities.

The UCU, which represents lecturers, along with four other higher unions (EIS, GMB, UNISON and Unite) will meet with the UCEA on the 13th of February in an attempt to break the deadlock on pay. 

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) will mediate the talks after previous discussions over wages failed to satisfy all parties involved. 18 days of strike action across Universities has led to a desire to resolve the issue.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady welcomed the fresh discussions. “The union has been clear, we need an offer that addresses the key issues affecting our members – specifically on casualisation and workloads,” she said.

“We haven’t had that yet. The sector has more than enough money to pay and treat people fairly, and employers have the power to do so. I am incredibly proud of UCU members whose dedication to improving their working standards and education has gotten us this far.”

The full statement by UCU, EIS, GMB, UNISON and Unite reads:

“Following the approach from Acas the five sector unions have agreed the following statement: ‘The Joint Unions have received an approach from ACAS to engage in a collective conciliation process regarding our joint claim.  The Joint Unions have agreed not to go ahead with the Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff (JNCHES) Dispute Resolution meeting scheduled for Friday 10th February and will meet with ACAS on Monday 13th February.’