UCU Northumbria hope you had a good summer. As you may know, over the summer our employers, UCEA (the University Council for Education Administration) made us an offer on pay which applies nationally: 2%. Our own university has imposed this, but it has not been agreed locally, or nationally. For more information, see here: https://www.ucu.org.uk/he2018
In a consultative ballot in June, UCU members in HE voted to reject the employers' final below-inflation offer, and resoundingly indicated their support for industrial action in the latest campaign for pay and equality in higher education. 82% of members responding to the consultation voted to reject the offer and 65% said they were prepared to take industrial action in defence of their pay.
• 2% does not restore ground lost against inflation (a real terms cut of 21% since 2010).
• 2% does not address gender pay inequality or precarious employment in the sector, which UCU insisted should be part of the pay offer.
• 2% does not value staff pay, which is even clearer since the proportion of university expenditure spent on staff has fallen to just 54.7%, while reserves held by institutions have increased by 259%, and capital expenditure by 34.9%. In other words, our pay matters less and less to our employers.
We now need to formally vote on taking industrial action. The ballot will open towards the end of August and run to mid-October. We're calling for an improved pay offer and progress to address inequality and precarious employment across the sector. Your branch officers support this campaign.
You should have received ballot papers so you can vote on whether to take industrial action and/or to take action short of a strike (a marking boycott etc.).
If you have received your ballot papers, however you vote, PLEASE VOTE!
If you haven't received ballot papers, or have lost them, please use this link to request replacements: https://yoursay.ucu.org.uk/s3/Replacement-postal-ballot-HE-pay-2018 or follow the guidance here: https://www.ucu.org.uk/he2018
It is vital you vote because recent anti-trade union laws mean we need at least a 50% turnout in our ballots to take action. Please look out for your ballot papers in the post and send back in the prepaid envelope. The 50% threshold is critical, so let your reps know when you have done so – apologies in advance if you get more communications reminding you about this!