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The University of Southampton
Human Resources

Trade Unions

We recognise and work with 3 unions UCU, UNISON and Unite, who represent different employee groups:

UCU represent academic and academic-related staff from Level 4 and above, and for negotiation on behalf of all employees in the USS pension fund Join UCU.

UNISON represent support staff in all areas, from clerical, administrative and secretarial to finance and computing Join UNISON.

Unite represent Technical staff at all levels, manual trades, security, catering and cleaning staff Join Unite.

We work closely with the trade unions and University representatives via a joint negotiating committee (JNC), who consult and negotiate on behalf of its members on matters relating to conditions of employment such as pay, hours and holiday.

View a Joint Communication from the University of Southampton/UCU JNC 22 October 2019 here.

View the Trade Union time off and facilities agreement here.

The Trade Union Act 2016 requires public sector employers, including HEIs to publish data on facility time.

View the current submission here.

A joint statement from the President and Vice-Chancellor (Interim) on behalf of the University’s leadership team and our Campus Trade Unions (University and College Union, Unite the Union, UNISON) 17 June 2019

“We are delighted to make a joint announcement about some positive steps our Campus Trade Unions and the University’s leadership team have agreed to take together, with the aim of improving our relationship and that of senior leadership with the wider staff community. We have enjoyed excellent working relations in the past and we intend to work towards that in the future. The joint actions agreed are that we will:

Enter into a Partnership Charter – The Charter will commit the University and the Trade Unions to engaging with each other and with the wider staff community. We will make a joint announcement in two to three months, to share the agreed charter with staff.

Work together to improve communications – We recognised that our communications could be better between ourselves as well as to the wider staff community. We will set up a working group to agree how to improve communications. We will do more joint communications such as this one. We also recognise that leadership and trade unions will want to continue to communicate independently.

Agree joint working protocols – These protocols will include how we work together informally outside of our formal meetings, how we will resolve disputes, how problems can be dealt with quickly at a local level and how we can have greater dialogue including joint problem solving.

Prioritise together – We will discuss how we can meet each other’s priorities and we will seek to reach an agreement on a work plan that can be flexible to adapt to changing priorities.

Share information more openly with each other – We committed to greater openness between us, while recognising the sensitives around some information. Sharing information and experiences from other parts of the HE sector will help us to achieve greater understanding of each other’s views but also allow for best practice to be shared for the benefit of all.

“We all agreed that a commitment to partnership working was a significant and positive change.

"We recognised that whilst some positive initial steps can be taken immediately, it will take time for this to be embedded and there might be challenges along the way. Given this, we also committed to keeping in clear sight the values we share, the behaviours we all want to achieve and the joint vision we’re working towards for our University and our sector to thrive and for this to be a truly great place to work.”

The signatories to this joint announcement are:

Professor Mark Spearing, President and Vice-Chancellor (Interim) – email: 
Professor Alex Neill, Vice-President (Education) – email: 
Ian Dunn (Chief Operating Officer) – email: 
Adrian Dolby (UNISON Vice Chair) – email: 
Mary Morrison (University and College Union Branch President) – email: 
Ally Dilworth (Unite Senior Steward) – email: 

Note: for more information on this announcement, contact the above signatories or Jeremy Gautrey, Head of Employee & Industrial Relations:

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