Following on from our successful ballot over the 2021-22 pay implementation, the branch committee met last week and decided we’d give notice to the University over our intention to take strike action over pay on Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd March.
Obviously this decision was not taken lightly and after a lengthy discussion, we decided that two days of strike action, designed to put pressure on the employers’ organisation, as part of a national dispute, was the correct thing to do.
We’ll be striking alongside UCU, as part of their Four Fights campaign, as well as other UNISON branches around the country which have also secured strike mandates over pay. It’s a national dispute, with a national focus, to get the employers to reconsider their imposed real terms pay cut.
UEB will say that we will be disrupting the students’ education, disproportionately at Brighton, and they’ll also say they don’t have the money to pay us properly. If this is correct, then we’re happy to run a joint university/union campaign to get the government to fund universities properly, but we can’t sit back and ignore the fact that our pay has fallen year after year, to such an extent that many of our members are now seriously struggling to live in such an expensive city.
They’ll say that only some people voted for strike action, but a clear majority of members voting did. We’d like to see UEB run an election campaign under different circumstances. Maybe they’d like to give it a go?
The only power we have is to withdraw our labour and hope that by taking such drastic action, this will force a re-think from the employers.
We’ll have more information available nearer the time, including our guide to the strike and what members and non-members need to know.
We know that if we fight, then we can win.