UHI and UCU sign joint agreement

The University of Highlands and Islands executive office (UHI) and University and College Union (UCU) have announced the approval of a trade union recognition and procedural agreement establishing arrangements for information, consultation, and negotiation on employment matters.

The announcement follows a series of meetings to negotiate arrangements within the agreement and was approved by university court on Wednesday 14 February 2024. 

UHI’s senior leadership is committed to conducting meaningful consultation and negotiations on a range of topics with the recognised trade union, and UCU representatives from the university will be given funded time to conduct union activities. 

Vicki Nairn, Interim Principal and Vice-Chancellor, UHI, said: “The university has been actively engaged in talks with UCU following its request for voluntary recognition and I am pleased university court have ratified this agreement between UHI’s executive office and UCU. I believe the agreement provides clarity on the effective working relationship that we wish to have with UCU and look forward to continuing to develop that relationship further to the benefit of our staff and students.” 

Dr Heather Fotheringham, UCU UHI branch president said: “This is a momentous agreement for UCU and reflects the effort and hard work of our members in getting to this point. I’m proud to sign it off for UCU, and we look forward to the future working relationship between UCU and UHI executive office taking forward our shared ambition of ensuring our university is a great place to work and study.” 

Jo Grady, UCU’s General Secretary said “This is a win win for workers and the employer, and a vitally important agreement for the university community in the Highlands and Islands, Moray and Perthshire. We look forward to setting up new bargaining structures at UHI executive office and having UCU representatives negotiating about workers’ terms and conditions. Well done to everyone that has been involved in achieving such a positive outcome for staff.”