UNISON is urging on members at universities across the UK to vote Yes for strike action in a ballot which closes in just over a fortnight.
The employers’ pay offer of 2% for most staff – up to 2.7% for others – is below inflation and doesn’t meet the needs of members, who have suffered years of below-inflation pay increases.
The union’s higher education service group executive has described the move by some employers to ‘impose’ the offer by putting it into staff pay packets before any agreement with the unions has been reached as a provocative action meant to undermine the strike ballot.
The pay squeeze for most higher education staff since 2009 means that members will see how little this offer is worth when compared to rising living costs when they get the money in their account.
Since 2009, higher education staff pay has failed to keep up with the cost of living. While council tax, transport costs, water bills and car parking costs have all gone up, pay hasn’t kept up.
Despite the pay squeeze for the majority of higher education staff, vice chancellors and other senior managers have seen their salaries significantly increase.
According to the Times Higher Education vice chancellor pay survey for 2016/17, vice chancellors earned a whopping on average£289,756 – with an average increase across the board of 3.2%
“Higher education workers have seen their pay worth less in real terms at a time when senior managers have seen their salaries increase on average above inflation,” says UNISON national secretary Jon Richards.
“Our members have had enough of miserly pay offers year after year and are demanding a pay rise that values their contribution.”
Make your vote count: UNISON is urging members to vote Yes for strike action.