Higher ed branches build for 6 February

UNISON higher education branches across the UK have been taking part in days of action to highlight that they are worth more than the 1% pay rise being offered to them.

The growing inequality in pay in higher education between senior managers and the workforce as a whole has been under the spotlight in the run-up to further strike action called for 6 February 2014.

At the University of East Anglia, where members face a double whammy of a real terms pay cut and a rise in car park charges, the branch is highlighting to employees the hidden costs of getting to work.

At the University of the West of England  in Bristol, the UNISON branch produced short films via YouTube in its search for the ‘Missing 13%’ from their pay packet and organised a procession to mourn the loss of salary for UNISON members at the same time that vice-chancellors have received further pay increases.

Liverpool University branch, in dispute over members’ terms and conditions as well as the national pay dispute, organised an indoor rally, while Manchester University members held street stalls and signing of a petition that they handed to their Vice Chancellor.

Many other branches are also organising signings of petitions to vice-chancellors and stalls in workplaces.

“UNISON branches are highlighting the need for fair pay in the sector,” said Donna Rowe-Merriman, senior national officer for education and children’s services. “UNISON members are preparing for a further day of strike action on 6 February demanding that the employer’s improve their measly current 1% pay offer.

“It is the hard work of employees in higher education that support the delivery of world class education to students.

“Members in ICT services ensuring that online courses run, audio-visual equipment functions and internet access is available, and not forgetting the early morning and late night shifts of the cleaning staff that ensure that students, visitors and colleagues can come to a clean environment on campus.

“It is the support from staff in all catering and hospitality, facilities management and security that students really appreciate and value. This is often the first thing they experience when they visit a campus – even before they start their course.”

More than 4,000 staff currently earn less than the living wagem despite another year of projected surplus, and salaries for staff have fallen in real terms by more than13% over the last five years. Staff have lost between £666 and £3,574 that they would have had if salaries had kept pace with the cost of living.  

Please click on the link to view materials available to support the higher education strike day planned for 6 February 2014. These details have been circulated to branch activists so that materials can be ordered as soon as possible and received ahead of 6 February 2014.

If you experience any technical issues ordering stock please email stockorders@unison.co.uk. You should mark your email ‘UNISON Higher Education Strike – urgent’.  Please state the stock number and quantities required, contact name, delivery address and delivery deadline.



Higher education day of action campaign resources 

You can order from our online catalogue:

strike leaflet aimed at members or staff – stock number 3295

leaflet for students to support strike - stock number 3324

strike poster - stock number 3322

placard - stock number 3323

strike for fair pay sticker - stock number 3296

branch industrial action handbook (also available as a pdf from education@unison.co.uk) - stock number 2343

stewards vests (only available from stockorders@unison.co.uk) 

UNISON official picket placards - stock number 0703

UNISON official picket armbands - stock number 3073

stewards armbands - stock number 0702

blank UNISON placards - stock number 0713

living wage sticker - stock number 3189

recruitment sticker - stock number 3222

recruitment application form (braille available on request) - stock number 3216

benefits of being in UNISON leaflet - stock number 0711

recruitment poster - stock number 3308

application form for students - stock number 3308