Increasing participation of young members

The last general election saw thousands of young people registering to vote for the very first time. Youth engagement with politics led to a change in the political landscape. Subsequent debates amongst MPs has shown them that the issues important to them will be taken up by politicians when there is strength in numbers. While […]

We Need Pay Ratios in Higher Education (HE)

Conference notes: 1)By the end of 2017, members in Higher Education will have lost the equivalent of one fifth of their pay since 2009/10. 2)At the same time, Senior Managers have seen their salaries consistently increase above the rate of inflation, with twenty-three Vice Chancellors taking an increase of 10% or more last year. Conference […]

Engaging Higher Education members for LGBT equality

Conference welcomes the high level of engagement of Higher Education (HE) members in UNISON’s second equality survey, conducted summer 2017, which gives useful insight into their experiences and involvement in UNISON. Conference also notes the responses from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members (LGBT), which reinforce the findings from the 2016 survey that LGBT members […]

Higher Education Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) data

Conference notes that good data is an important element in driving equality change. Data on its own is just information – it changes nothing. But it can provide evidence of failure and success and of change over time. For example, robust data has been vital in UNISON’s work, through the Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher […]

Fair pay in universities

Conference believes that there is an inherent unfairness in the way in which our universities are being run, and the way in which the most senior staff are being rewarded whilst UNISON members and staff working in support services are paying the price. Recent research in the Guardian revealed that among 17 university heads who […]

Pay and the Impact on Black Staff

Conference notes that staff, particularly Black staff have seen their living standards fall in recent years and many earn less than the living wage. A Trade Union Congress (TUC) report conducted in 2016 showed that Black workers face a “massive pay gap” which widens as they achieve more qualifications. The research by the TUC suggested […]

Brexit and our European Unions (EU) colleagues

Colleagues may recall the lacklustre support by the UK Universities for any position during the Brexit Referendum despite UNISON’s call to Vice Chancellors (VCs) to take a position to support EU staff and students. There are 45,000 EU citizens working in the Higher Education sector in the UK (11% of the Higher Education (HE) workforce) […]

No to a Hard Brexit

Our political landscape has become dominated by the referendum decision to leave the European Union. Whatever the specific position in January 2018, there are particular principles which will defend the rights and freedoms of both UK and EU nationals working in Higher Education (HE). At the time of writing we have not seen full details […]

End discrimination against Cuba in UK Higher Education (UK)

1)UNISON has a proud history of international solidarity and supporting our members in HE to create a welcoming atmosphere for international students from around the world. 2)UNISON is affiliated to the Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC) and has been since 2002. 3)CSC is campaigning against a recent decision by the Open University (OU) to allegedly bar […]

Higher Education Role Analysis (HERA)

Conference notes that it has been some years since HERA was introduced as the tool for role analysis in the majority of UK universities as part of the National Framework Agreement. As part of that many UNISON activists were trained and accredited as HERA Role Analysts to support members wishing to have their roles evaluated, […]

Higher Education as a Public Service

Conference notes that: The history of degree level education provision in the UK is long and complex, but current and recent changes are fundamentally shifting the scenario in which our members work. As a trade union which organises public sector workers, we find our particular Service Group having to deal with the consequences of delivering […]

Putting Vice Chancellors’ (VC) Pay in Perspective

Conference notes that: The Higher Education sector is perhaps the best example of a few individuals enriching themselves from public funds. It is true that many leaders of public institutions are receiving vast incomes for their contributions, but VC pay has captured the headlines since a) students are amassing colossal debts to access Higher Education […]

Higher Education Service Group Executive Accountability

Conference welcomes the motion “Member-led Democracy” passed (as amended) at last year’s conference, which committed the Higher Education Service Group Executive (HESGE) to publish information about votes on significant issues. Conference also recognises the contribution made by HESGE members who, alongside all elected lay reps, consistently give their time to further the interests of all […]

Higher Education (HE) and Voter Registration

Conference should note the significant role played by young people mobilising to vote in the last general election. UNISON activists in Higher Education played a role in this significant development by taking part in voter registration drives on their campuses around the country. Despite years of the assumption that apathy was endemic, the turnout of […]

Keeping on a campaign footing

Conference notes and very much welcomes the fact that not only did the Labour Party stand in the last election with policies very much in keeping with many of those set by our members at numerous UNISON conferences, but that those policies proved to be very popular. The future removal of a Tory government now […]