Thank you to every member who voted in our ballot over One World Nursery.
74.8% of members who voted were willing to take strike action, but unfortunately, the turnout, at 48.5%, was a handful of votes short of achieving the 50% we needed to give us a legal strike mandate.
There’s lots we can say about this, starting with the fact that the anti-trade union laws are thoroughly anti-democratic, given that they assume that those who did not manage to vote were not in support of action. This flawed logic applies nowhere else in this “democracy”.
We’re confident that a ballot of staff and students over the closure of the Nursery would result in an overwhelming majority in favour of retaining the Nursery, with perhaps eight UEB votes against, although if it were a secret ballot, we’re not convinced all UEB members really believe the arguments they’re repeating about £83,000 or half of that, being a crucial amount of money that needs to be saved to fend off disaster. Unfortunately, despite what you might be led to believe, trade unions are infinitely more democratic than universities or laws designed to prevent trade unions functioning.
it is the law which prevents us from acting on our members’ decision and we will continue to campaign for this law to be repealed.
When deciding to ballot, we knew that it would be difficult to get a turnout of 50%, given the timing and the situation, with the vast majority of members working remotely. So all those members and activists playing their part in trying to get the vote out should be very proud of themselves.
This was the first time we’d ever balloted over a local dispute and that fact that we came so close is clearly disappointing, but doesn’t stop us putting the argument that One World Nursery should stay open for all the reasons that this branch and the nursery workers have explained.
We still encourage people to attend the rally/picnic event on Wednesday next week and show your support to the courageous campaign which the One World staff have been fighting.