Your ballot papers for industrial action should arrive today or tomorrow. The law does not permit online voting, so you need to post your vote back in the prepaid envelope provided.
Durham is in two disputes:
- the Four Fights dispute over pay, casualisation, workload and equality – you can find FAQs introducing the dispute with links to other materials and resources here.
- the dispute over massive cuts to USS pensions – please read the updated FAQs at this link.
Our demands to employers
Yesterday morning our General Secretary Jo Grady and other UCU members, along with the NUS President Larissa Kennedy, visited the shared headquarters of Universities UK (UUK) and the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) — the employer representative bodies we negotiate with in the USS and Four Fights disputes, respectively. They delivered letters to the chief executive of UUK, Alistair Jarvis, and the chief executive of UCEA, Raj Jethwa, setting out what it will take to resolve our disputes.
Every vote counts
Every vote counts in this ballot. That’s not just because the law requires unions to achieve a turnout over 50% to be able to call industrial action — it’s also because a high turnout sends a message to employers. A strong turnout and YES vote for action is the best way to force employers to make an improved offer, because it demonstrates the scale of disruption which you will cause if the action goes ahead.
Every action which you and your branch take to increase turnout and the size of the YES vote in your institution will strengthen our negotiators’ hand at the bargaining table.
UCU branches that have balloted during the pandemic and achieved a high turnout have done amazing things — stopping hundreds of compulsory redundancies, protecting members’ health and safety, and winning agreements on workload, casualisation and other issues. Now we need to replicate their achievements throughout the higher education sector because that is the only way to reverse the sector-wide trend of over a decade of declining investment in staff.
Make you sure you vote as soon as possible.