4 Reasons Why You should Use Your Vote in the UNISON Strike Ballot
- University bosses will study the outcome of this ballot very carefully. By law, UNISON must publish the number of members balloted who actually vote. In addition to the hurdle of a 50% response rate which the law requires as well as a majority support for strike action, university bosses will be making their own assessments of what the results reveal. They will be looking to see whether you care about your pay enough not just to vote for strike action, but to bother voting at all. A low turn-out in the ballot will be interpreted as a sign of our collective weakness and won’t just limit us to a poor pay deal this year, it will also impact on next year’s pay negotiations too.
- UNISON has exhausted every negotiation opportunity and yet Universities are still only offering a meagre 2% or £425 pay increase, less than inflation and far less than we deserve and universities can afford to pay.
- UNISON is a democratic trade union; members determine our policy by voting. We need to know what you think should happen next and this ballot is your opportunity to tell us. Do we launch strike action to fight for a better deal, or do we give up on achieving a decent pay rise? In the recent consultation we conducted with members, 67% of the members who responded, voted to reject the offer and move to a formal strike ballot – this is why we are balloting you now.
- As your regional representatives on UNISON’S Higher Education service Group Executive, we have negotiated directly with the employer representatives and witnessed first-hand, how hard they work to give us as little as possible – as little as they think you will accept. At the same time, universities continue to invest millions in new buildings and pay fortunes to senior staff. We think it is time for a change and time for all of us to have a fair pay increase which will protect our standard of living against inflation and recognise the invaluable contribution we all make to our universities. It’s time for a change – time for universities to pay up now!
Please vote as soon as you receive your ballot paper, or after you have attended a UNISON Branch meeting at your university. The ballot opens on Friday, 14 September and closes on Thursday, 25 October 2018. Have your say!
Denise Ward (Branch Secretary, Teesside University) and Chair of the Higher Education Service Group Executive
Lorraine Brown (Branch Secretary, Northumbria University) Northern Region representative on the Higher Education Service Group Executive