Nb. this is the last Newsflash of the current 2017/18 academic year – ‘Flash is taking a summer break, returning in September 2018
1) Update – UCU in Dispute
Yesterday (Tuesday, 24th July) UCU wrote to the University of Bristol Vice-Chancellor, and all other VCs and Heads of Institutions represented by UCEA, the negotiating body representing universities at pay and equality negotiations, to inform him that UCU is now in dispute with the University of Bristol.
This follows the latest joint UCEA/UCU meeting at which UCEA refused to budge, sticking to their below inflation pay offer and to their refusal to address casualisation, exploitative overwork and marked gender pay discrepancies.
UCU is now calling on our Vice Chancellor and others to instruct their UCEA representatives to shift their position and agree to:
- An increase to all spine points on the 50 point national pay scale of 7.5% or
- £1,500 whichever is greater
- Nationally agreed framework for action to close the gender pay gap by 2020.
- Nationally-agreed framework for action on precarious contracts
- Nationally-agreed payment to recognise excessive workloads
The UCU formal letter states ‘[f]or the avoidance of doubt, the trade dispute between UCU members and your institution will remain in existence unless and until agreement is reached on all of the matters of dispute highlighted in the bullet points above and any other matters arising out of the dispute’
2) UCU United
Following the meeting of our Higher Education Committee at the end of June, in the wake of a record-breaking UCU consultative ballot that voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action and to reject UCEA’s offer, UCU has decided to enter into dispute with employers, to ballot for industrial action and to attempt to resolve the dispute through the Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff mechanism – the UCEA/UCU meeting mentioned above.
As Bristol and other employers are refusing to budge, UCU is now gearing up for potential sustained industrial action.
At Bristol, in keeping with the views expressed during USS strike – the Great University Strike to borrow a phrase – UCU members signalled their rejection of the current offer by voting to reject the offer by 86%. 67% of members who voted in the ballot voted to take industrial action.
3) The Ballot
Although precise dates are not yet confirmed, the current plan is that the formal statutory ballot for industrial action will open w/c 27th August and close mid-October.
Posters and other materials for your door and workplace can be found here:
The Bristol UCU office will also be distributing materials we received last week to UCU reps and contacts.