UNISON prepares for further strike action over HE pay

UNISON’s higher education service group executive has called for a further day of strike action on 3 December.

The executive made its decision following the refusal by the employers to increase their 1% pay offer ­- despite the recent joint HE unions’ strike.

A national disputes resolution meeting takes place on 20 November. If this meeting does not lead to a resolution, then UNISON members will strike again with UCU and Unite colleagues.

This time, these unions we be joined by EIS colleagues in Scotland after they voted to take action too.

UNISON national secretary for education and children’s services Jon Richards said: “We remain committed to meeting with the employers to resolve the dispute. But we have made it clear to them that if they don’t make an improved offer, then members will be forced to strike again.”

Branches at universities across the UK are preparing to take action, organising meetings for members and potential members to explain the need for a further day’s strike.

A 1% pay offer does little to alleviate a 10% rise in energy costs, higher travel costs or increases by the universities for car park charges on campus. Many of the lowest-paid will be facing the stark choice of whether to heat their home or feed their family this winter.

“While cash surpluses in universities have reached record highs over the last three years, total expenditure on staff salaries has declined during the same period,” said Mr Richards.

“Our members see increasing investment in campus buildings and improvements to public spaces at universities around the UK, but don’t see the same investment in themselves.”

UNISON recognises that taking strike action is a difficult decision for many people and a financial challenge for others. Branches are setting up hardship funds to support any UNISON members that need help.

New industrial action ballot material is available for HE branches and activists to order, including a strike leaflet (stock number 3295), poster (3322) and a placard (3323), which put the case for supporting strike action.

You can order these through our online catalogue, or by emailing stockorders@unison.co.uk and making sure you include the stock number(s), quantities needed and a delivery address.

UNISON wants fair pay and a living wage for all HE staff. The union urges members to stand together and strike for a better pay offer from the employers, as this is the only way to improve the current offer of 1%.

Higher education industrial action