Industrial action ballot tactics for the 2020-21 pay campaign and beyond

Conference Notes: The primary role of UNISON, or any Trade Union, is to use the collective power of its members to deliver lasting and significant improvements to pay, pension rights and working conditions. The results of each annual round of pay negotiations, is a good indicator of the extent to which this Service Group is […]

Addressing Low Pay with Progressive Pay Claims

Conference Notes: Many UNISON members in the higher education sector continue to suffer the effects of poverty wages. Whilst some progress has been made campaigning for universities to become Living Wage Employers, or at least agreeing to pay the equivalent, some are refusing to consider this very basic and reasonable demand. Many senior managers point […]

Raising the profile of Black activists in Higher Education

Raising the profile of Black activists and increasing the number of Black members involved in Higher Education establishments at branch, regional and national levels within the union is critical in meeting UNISON’s recruitment and organising objectives. Conference notes that UNISON has developed a Leadership School where activists can take steps to develop their leadership skills […]

Promoting Transgender Equality in Higher Education Institutions

Conference will recall carrying the motion ‘Trans inclusion in higher education workplaces’ in 2017 welcoming trans members active participation in UNISON and accepting trans equality must be addressed in all workplaces. This motion also endorsed the recommendations of the Parliamentary Women and Equalities Committee Inquiry into Transgender Equality, which called for higher education institutions (HEIs) […]

Negotiating Reasonable Adjustments for Disabled Workers in Higher Education

Conference notes that although Higher Education institutions often pride themselves on the services they offer to disabled students, when it comes to their disabled staff it can sometimes be a different story. Many of our disabled members in Higher Education find that they struggle to access reasonable adjustments. In some cases the employer agrees to […]

Supporting peri and post menopausal workers in the workplace

The UK’s higher education support staff workforce comprises 63% women and over 40% of university support staff are aged 46 and over. The menopause is experienced by women primarily between the ages of 45 to 55, although some may experience it earlier, and it can continue for many years. Symptoms associated with the menopause include […]

Climate change and higher education

UNISON HE conference notes: 1)The Earth’s temperature has already risen by 1.1 degree above pre-industrial levels and that the amount of sheet ice lost annually from the Antarctic has increased six-fold between 1979-2017. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report last autumn warned that we only have 12 years to keep global warming to […]

Defend all Pensions

Conference notes the ongoing attack on our defined benefit (DB) pension schemes and believes that as pensions are deferred pay then any cut to our pension schemes is a direct attack on terms and conditions. Conference notes those branches that have campaigned or are still campaigning to stop any erosion to their pensions which after […]

Positively promoting Mental Wellbeing in the workplace

Conference has in recent years passed a number of motions relating to helping to tackle the issues around mental health conditions such as encouraging employers to sign up to “Time to change “ or become “Mindful employers”. This has helped to shape the service group’s policy on supporting individuals with existing mental health conditions as […]

Abandoning the absolute necessity to conduct indicative ballots.

Conference, clearly it is in none of our interests that we conduct a ballot we potentially lose by a long margin if we do not have the pulse of the membership before we move to an industrial action ballot. That will only serve the interests of those who want us to lose the ballot weakening […]

Understanding the impact of job reductions across the HE Sector.

We all know the well rehearsed arguments: in the face of declining student numbers, political uncertainty, Brexit and the unknown future of tuition income, universities say it is inevitable that jobs must be lost. And through 2019 we saw one after the other HE institute introduce voluntary severance schemes, reorganisations and redundancies, reductions in hours […]

Combatting the far right on campus Motion 2020

Conference Notes: 1)The far-right are attempting to take their message of racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism onto university and college campuses. 2)The far-right group ‘Generation Identity’ have appeared on over 20 campuses, holding stunts and meetings. 3)Turning Point UK, a group with links to the alt-right in the US, have attempted to set up student societies […]

The Future of the Local Government Pension Scheme and Higher Education Employees in England

A Government consultation took place between May and July 2019 on changes to reform the Local Government Pension Scheme in England. The proposed changes would give higher education institutions, further education colleges and sixth form colleges the flexibility to not have to offer the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) to new staff. UNISON’s HESGE led […]

Responding to the Augar Report on Post 18 Education and Funding in England

Conference notes that although the report of the Review of Post 18 Education and Funding in England falls far short of UNISON’s policies on the future of Higher Education (HE) it cannot be ignored. Even in a period of political uncertainty and ministerial changes in government, its analysis and recommendations are likely to continue to […]

Higher Education Service Group Executive Pay Motion 2020/21

2019 marks ten years of the erosion in real terms, take home pay, the pay of the majority of Higher Education support staff. If pay had risen in line with the cost of living, then each pound that university support staff earn in 2019/20, would be worth twenty one pence more than it actually is. […]