For the attention of PGWTs and hourly paid staff, message from the acting Branch President

Dear Colleagues,

 We would very much appreciate your support on the day of action.  However, we do recognise that if a Thursday is a regular teaching day for you, you will be disproportionately affected by taking strike action.  We would encourage you, therefore, to see whether you could do the teaching on another day, to avoid loss of pay.  If you have any questions, please do get in touch.

 Best wishes, Stephen Minta (Acting UCU President)

Thursday 31st October – joint UCU/UNISON/Unite Day of Action

31 October Strike Date announced

UCU, UNISON and Unite have called on their members working in higher education to walk out on Thursday 31 October.

Staff have been offered a pay rise of just 1% this year, which means they have suffered a pay cut of 13% in real terms since October 2008.

The squeeze on staff pay comes at a time when pay and benefits for university leaders increased, on average, by more than £5,000 in 2011-12, with the average pay and pensions package for vice-chancellors hitting almost £250,000.

Read more here



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All members should have received ballot papers by now if you haven’t received one, please let us know here.

These are UCU’s reasons for balloting our members:

  • Staff pay is being systematically and intentionally eroded as part of a bad strategic choice by university managements who can afford to pay you more. Since 2009, the cumulative value of the pay cut is around 13%.
  • Yet universities are spending less on their staff overall and building up their surpluses and reserves.
  • In attacking pay to fund their surpluses, they are undermining the real basis of quality education for students and ultimately gambling with their own reputations.
  • Their actions are unnecessary, provocative and represent a failure in their duty of care to the staff who teach our students. They are also being reckless with the reputation of our sector.
  • We have tried everything possible to make them reach a negotiated agreement with us, but they are refusing to negotiate meaningfully on anything in our claim.
  • They will keep on doing this, year after year, until we say enough is enough.

Voting YES for action short of a strike AND strike action will enable the union to progress swiftly to strike status if it is found that action short of a strike, for example working to contract, is unsuccessful.

BUT – whatever your views, it is of paramount importance that you do vote, to protect the right to national collective bargaining.


Stephen Minta and Geoffrey Wall, Acting Joint Presidents of UCU York University