UNISON members will be receiving their ballot paper to vote on whether to take industrial action on the current pay offer over the next few days. The ballot period runs from 30 August to 19 September 2016. The ballot helpline opens 5 September 2016 and the number is 0800 0857 857.
The higher education service group executive is recommending members vote ‘YES’ for strike action in response to the employer’s miserly 1.1% pay offer for the majority of staff.
You may be aware that last week the employers' produced an expanded 'draft offer' ahead of UNISON’s industrial action ballot. This was published via the employer’s website following a UCEA Board meeting. No discussion took place with any of the trade unions ahead of the announcement.
However, despite the sector facing the potential for escalating strike action in the autumn the revised draft had very little change in the detail, and no movement on the main sticking point: the 1.1% pay offer. It also appears that the national employers negotiating body (UCEA) has recommended to Universities that they should implement the draft offer to staff, in effect imposing the current offer, even before the outcome of industrial action ballots are known.
UNISON sees this move as provocative and unnecessary given the employers stated commitment to keep channels open for dialogue. As yet the employers have made no attempt to approach the unions in dispute for further talks.
UNISON members who will receive ballot papers in the coming days will see through this attempt to influence the vote for in the industrial action on this miserly offer. In fact, by imposing this offer it once more highlights just how little the offer is worth for the majority of staff.UNISON has outlined the growing pay inequality in higher education and has produced a salary calculator that clearly shows how far behind wages have fallen behind the cost of living. Full details can be found here: https://www.unison.org.uk/news/article/2016/08/he-pay-calculator/