Staff news

Email to Unions from the Principal

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Mathieson has today (Wednesday 8 November 2023) written to representatives of our recognised trade unions – the University and College Union (UCU), Unison and Unite – following recent ballots on industrial action.

You can read the email in full below.  


Dear Cat, Sophia, Mark and June,   

I wanted to write to follow up on the communications from UCEA earlier this week, particularly noting the outcomes of the most recent industrial action ballots for all three of our recognised unions, and EIS. For the first time in a very long time, there are no active industrial dispute mandates at our University.   

I want to reassure our union branches and our staff more widely, that the senior leadership team recognise that these outcomes may not reflect the strength of feeling amongst some staff about the issues underlying the recent industrial action.    

We look forward to working in partnership with you to progress our work locally, aimed at improving conditions for staff here at the University of Edinburgh. This includes:  

  • The Pay Grade Scale Review, with a progress update for staff before Christmas   

  • Our review of how we use Fixed Term Contracts  

  • Delivering the commitments set out in our Equality Outcomes and continuing our focus on addressing pay gaps  

  • Reviewing our opportunities to improve working practices and workloads  

We will continue to use our regular formal and informal meetings to ensure our staff voices are heard and that we focus on what matters most, as we continue to make the University of Edinburgh an even better place to work and study.  

Best wishes,  


Peter Mathieson  

Principal and Vice-Chancellor, The University of Edinburgh