Attention all members and potential members – UCU are holding a branch General Meeting on Tuesday 4th February, 12:00 in the Derwent Performance Studios. THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO AIR YOUR VIEWS ABOUT THE CURRENT INDUSTRIAL ACTION. We will be joined by Geoff Brown, from the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional office.
We look forward to seeing you all there, please try to attend.
Sally Hunt, UCU General Secretary
Employers fail again – strike on 3 December: I’m writing to update you on our campaign for fair pay in higher education. Negotiators from all the four unions in dispute – UCU, Unison, Unite and EIS – met with UCEA, the body that negotiates nationally for your employers yesterday. Our negotiators pressed the employers for an improved offer. I am sorry to say that UCEA refused, offering only to ‘look into equality issues’ if we accepted the pay cut offer that’s already on the table. In other words, the employers offered little or nothing in return for us accepting their pay cut. I think that is a disgraceful response to university staff. Now I have to ask you to get behind the unions again and support the one-day strike on Tuesday 3 December. Why? Because with academic pay falling in real terms both against inflation and against other professions it is you and your families that are suffering despite the financial surplus in the sector. To see how far and fast our pay is falling read UCU’s briefing here. We have to be clear – this dispute is completely unnecessary. The money to stop the decline in pay is there in university surpluses and reserves. Your employer has made a choice that you and your family will suffer falling living standards while they hoard reserves and prioritise non-staff projects. Industrial action is now the only option. I know that taking strike action is a difficult decision, so it should be. But we must be clear. Your employers carry the full responsibility for this situation and the only way forward at this point is through taking collective action. We do this by negotiating wherever possible and by campaigning, including strike action, where necessary. Now, unfortunately, it is necessary. This is also about your voice at work. These are tough times in higher education and our union has never been more necessary. Winning on this issue is partly about building the union’s power to take action on all the other issues facing our members. Please support the strike on Tuesday 3 December.