If you work directly for the University, you should have received a ballot paper from the Electoral Reform Service.
It’s important that you vote, so please make sure you do, by posting your ballot back to them by the 25th October.
If you haven’t got one, it’s either because your home address details held by UNISON are incorrect, or you’ve joined since the ballot cut off point, roughly at the end of August.
Either way, to get a ballot form, you’ll need to contact UNISON as follows:
Call (Freephone) 0800 0857 857, Monday to Friday 6am – midnight, Saturday 9am – 4pm.
They will ask for your current address and issue you a ballot form. If you can’t get through, please keep trying. It’s really important that we get as large a turnout as we can.
Please let us know if you have any problems.
The law team from the Brighton Business School has again taken part in the Brighton Legal Walk, which raises money for vital local legal advice charities.
Access to legal advice has been savaged over recent years, while need just keeps on rising.
Beneficiaries of the walk include Brighton Housing Trust, which has helped protect thousands of households from homelessness over the years, as well as being the last remaining provider of legal aid asylum and immigration advice in the whole of Sussex and Surrey. There’s also Money Advice Plus, which is ever more desperately needed since debt and welfare law were taken out of the scope of legal aid. Likewise Citizens Advice, which provides a vital service, has lost out hugely as a result of most of its work no longer being funded by legal aid.
Obviously, it could be argued that the government should be properly funding all of this, but the fact is that it’s not and people are denied not only their rights but even the means of survival in some cases, so please sponsor the law team for the 10K walk on Monday (10th) and fight for free local legal advice.
UNISON is disappointed with the decision to make a payment of 2%, backdated to 1st August. Obviously we always welcome genuine increases to wages (!) but as we’ve pointed out elsewhere on many occasions, 2.0% or even 2.6% for the lowest paid, when inflation is nearer 3.2%, represents a real terms pay cut.
The fact that this is the “final offer” of UCEA is precisely why both UCU and UNISON are in dispute and we will be balloting members to confirm the results of our consultative ballot, which was overwhelmingly to reject this offer.
Paying the 2.0% at this stage, as recommended by UCEA is provocative, and is designed to make it look as if the dispute is over, by imposing yet another cut in our pay. If there is a real desire to make sure members of staff are not inconvenienced by having to wait for a resolution, then we would have been happy to discuss a neutral RPI-based interim payment of 3.2%, or something closer to our claim, which was 7.5% or £1,500 with a commitment to £10/hour, as a way of addressing low pay. (This may seem high, but it only goes some way to make up for the years of bellow-inflation increases which university workers have suffered.)
Obviously we welcome the commitment to pay at least the real living wage rate, which is due to UNSION raising this many times in the past and the University recognising that it is falling behind other major employers in Brighton and the South East, who have gone further and committed themselves to being accredited Living Wage employers, which tackles low pay employers in the supply chain.
It is worth noting though that this commitment will not extend to apprentices, but it is a small step in the right direction and we’re pleased to have contributed to it.
UNISON’s strike ballot opens on 14th September and closes on 25th October. It is crucial that all members return their ballot papers by the deadline and non-members who are equally fed up with real terms pay cuts can have their say by joining now.
You can find this, as well as at least a year’s worth of back issues, in the usual place, by following the Newsletter link.
This month’s issue is mainly concerned with the national pay ballot.
This month: Updates on the pay dispute and more on the Staff Survey. You can find it in the Newsletters section at the top of the menu.
As always, any comments, good or bad are welcome.
UNISON’s Higher Education Service Group Executive met yesterday to decide on the next steps for this year’s pay campaign. The consultative ballot of all branches returned an overwhelming vote in favour of rejecting the “final” offer of 2.0% or £450, which is consistent with the message received from our branch’s membership.
Members will receive ballot papers to their home addresses by the end of September, but we’ll provide details nearer the time.
The anti-trade union laws make it unlawful for industrial action to take place unless we manage a turnout in excess of 50%, so it is important that every member returns their vote and makes sure that other members do so as well.
Since ballots will go to home addresses, we need to make sure that our information is up to date (we don’t get any info from the University).
Members can check their data by registering and logging into MyUNISON, here.
We can let you know your membership number if you need it.
Alternatively, just contact us (email or call 2450) and I can check for you.
The results of our ballot of Brighton branch members on whether to accept or reject the “final offer” of 2.0% or £425 is follows:
84.2% voted to REJECT the offer.
15.2% voted to ACCEPT the offer.
The turnout was 57.7%.
Thanks to everyone who voted or persuaded others to vote. This is the highest turnout we have had in a consultative ballot and sets a good foundation on which to build, if a full postal ballot takes place in the near future. (The blatantly undemocratic Trade Union Act requires a turnout of at least 50%.)
The result is a clear endorsement of the recommendation of this branch and UNISON nationally, that 2% in real terms is a pay cut and that we have to reject this offer and campaign for more.
A national meeting of the Service Group takes place tomorrow (Thursday 2nd August), where reps will consider the national situation. As a democratic union, we will take into account the feelings of all members in all branches, but on the back of this result, we will be making a case for a full national ballot to be run alongside UCU and other unions, which will potentially allow us to threaten action if the employers don’t offer a more reasonable settlement.
Once again, thanks for playing your part in that process.
We’ll bring you further news when we have it.
Let us know if you’d like one.
UNISON Branch Newsletter – July 2018
This month’s newsletter is dominated by our consultative ballot on pay for all our members of University staff.
Ballot papers and instructions on how to vote electronically will go out from next week.
Please make sure you vote in this important ballot.
As promised, we’re balloting all our members on the employers’ final offer of 2% or £425.
We think this is a below-inflation, real terms pay cut, and so we’re recommending that members vote to REJECT it.
There’s further information in the July newsletter (out soon) and on UNISON’s national website.
Vote ‘Yes to Reject’ the HE pay offer
Ballot forms will go out from next week and members can also vote electronically.
We’ll be holding site meetings to discuss the issue and ask members to make sure that we all vote in this important consultation.
More to follow….