University employers have refused to improve their 2018 pay offer of 2% despite the fact that inflation has risen again. In July the CPI measure of inflation rose from 2.4% to 2.5% while RPI reached 3.2%. CPI is not expected to drop below the Bank of England’s 2% target until some time in the first half of 2019, which means we are facing yet another fall in real pay despite the fact that university balance sheets continue to show the kind of surpluses many private companies can only dream of.
UCU is therefore balloting members nationally on industrial action to support our joint pay claim with the other four UK HE sector trade unions, which includes:
- a 7.5% or £1500 increase in pay, whichever is greater, to catch up on the massive 21% cut in real pay we have experienced since 2010,
- action to close the Gender Pay Gap by 2020,
- action on casualisation and precarious contracts,
- recognition of excessive workloads and stress.
Your ballot paper should arrive in the week after August 30th and a successful vote for action can only proceed if at least 50% of members vote. Therefore, please do not delay, please post your vote back promptly. You can check that your postal address is up to date by using this link.
As was demonstrated by the Staffnet news item on 7th June, Update on pay negotiations, which scandalously presented the 2% offer as an above inflation pay increase, we cannot expect any generosity or sympathy from the University’s (very well paid) Senior Leadership Team. This outrageous claim, which was reached by adding the average incremental pay increase awarded to staff to the 2% offer, just goes to show how out of touch they are and how little they truly value staff – 44% of whom are at the top of their grade, so will receive no incremental increase this year, and rely entirely on annual pay settlements to maintain their and their families’ standard of living.
Therefore, please look out for your ballot paper and vote YES to strike action and YES to action short of a strike.
Further information, including posters and leaflets, can be found here: https://www.ucu.org.uk/he2018