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UNISON announce third day of strike action

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UNISON press release:

Higher education workers to walk out for third day over pay

Caterers, cleaners, security guards and student support staff in universities across the country will be among those walking out for a third time on 6 February, as their bitter row with cash-rich higher education employers rolls on.

The UK-wide strike will involve members from UNISON, UCU and EIS, and follows previous strikes on 31 October and 7 December last year.

Read more

Higher education executive considers the way forward


UNISON’s higher education service group executive considered the next steps in the dispute with employers over a 1% pay offer for support staff, when it met today.

It discussed how to build the campaign and engage with members and the wider community and how to highlight pay inequality in the sector.

The executive is planning to highlight inequality and low pay throughout January, and show the value of UNISON members in providing the student experience.

The executive is also seeking to co-ordinate any further action with other trade unions in February 2014.


OPEN MEETING Thursday 28th November

Campaigning to halt the squeeze in HE

Organised jointly by LSBU Unison & UCU
Venue: BR-360 (Borough Rd Building)
Time: 12.30-2pm

Over the past four years University staff have endured a real-term pay cut of 13% together with a hike in pension contributions, while pay and benefits for University leaders have increased, on average, by £5,000 (2011­‐12). With £1 billion surplus in UK Universities, there is enough money for a fair pay deal, and to halt increasing workloads and casualisation, which have become a prominent feature within Higher Education. Join the campaign for a fair deal and to defend education.

Confirmed speakers:

Mark Campbell (UCU)
Senior Lecturer in Computing at London Metropolitan University and a member of the UCU National Executive.

Lewis Nielsen (Student, University of Sussex)
A student involved in the occupation at Sussex University, organised in support of the joint union strike by lecturers and support staff on 31 October.

University staff – 13% pay cut
University Leaders – £5000 pay rise
£1 BILLION surplus in University Sector
Campaigning for a fair pay deal

Staff and Students Welcome

University staff announce 3 December for second date of strike action

UNISON announcement:
UNISON’s higher education service group executive has called for a further day of strike action on 3 December. The executive made its decision following the refusal by the employers to increase their 1% pay offer ­- despite the recent joint HE unions’ strike. A national disputes resolution meeting takes place on 20 November. If this meeting does not lead to a resolution, then UNISON members will strike again with UCU and Unite colleagues. This time, these unions we be joined by EIS colleagues in Scotland after they voted to take action too.
Read the announcement in full here

An extraordinary meeting with higher education employers today, failed to immediately resolve the dispute between UNISON, UCU, Unite and EIS and the university employers over pay.

Halloween strike a success

The LSBU UNISON Branch Committee would like to thank all of you who took part in Thursday’s strike, and especially to all those who joined our picket lines on the day. Although we don’t have exact figures to hand, the UNISON turnout both nationally and at LSBU seems to have been very strong.

Mark Campbell from UCU speaking at the rally at Conway Hall:

    Photos taken by Branch Committee members (click on thumbnail to see larger image):

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Strike on 31st October


In the recent ballot, UNISON members have voted to reject the offer of a 1% pay increase made to us by the HE employers’ association, UCEA, and in favour of strike action in order to achieve a fairer offer. Following UNISON’s vote for strike action, UCU and UNITE have both also voted for strike action. Our Higher Education service group executive met on Monday, and a one day strike has been called for Thursday, 31st October, alongside UCU and UNITE.

But why should you strike?

1. The University sector has the money to pay staff a fairer wage for the vast amount of work we put it in. Surpluses in the HE sector are about £1 billion. Our own Vice-Chancellor enjoyed an increase in his salary and taxable benefits from £204,000 in 2011 to £238,000 in 2012. So why are we being told that 1% is good enough for us?

2. UNISON, UCU, GMB and UNITE are demanding that national agreements be reached over workload in HE. We are already overworked, and the best way to start to address this problem is national level agreement. A strike sends a strong message that we both expect fair pay for the hard work we put in as well as manageable workloads.

3. Our pay has already fallen by 13% in real terms in just five years, while inflation has seen prices rise by 15%. UCEA has now not offered a fair pay deal in 5 years, and unless we show that we are serious about fair pay for hard work in HE, that will not change.

4. More than 4,000 HE staff are paid below the Living Wage, and required to subsist on poverty wages. UCEA have refused to enter serious discussions about ensuring that no-one working in HE is paid below the Living Wage (£7.45 outside of London, £8.55 within London).

5. UNISON, UNITE and the UCU are calling for UCEA to engage in serious negotiations about fair pay, fair workloads, and an end to poverty pay, and only strike action can now achieve this.

A strong strike is crucial for success, and we would ask that all members speak to their co-workers about what UNISON is doing to protect their pay, and to ask them to join UNISON if they are not already members. This sort of activity can really make a massive difference.

It is expected that all members of UNISON will respect the decision of their colleagues to vote for strike action, and will be on strike on 31st October.

Contact us if you have any questions or want to help with organising for the strike.

Higher education industrial action 2013 – UNISON

2013 HE Pay Campaign – Vote ‘YES’ in the higher education strike ballot – ends 8th October

Read more about the campaign and please vote in the upcoming ballot.

UNISON higher education service group executive is recommending members take strike action over pay after employers refuse to increase the offer of 1%. Here are their reasons:

  • UNISON’s higher education members are facing a fifth year of pay awards below the cost of living;
  • real-terms pay has been cut 13%;
  • student numbers are up and cash surpluses in the sector are over £1bn;
  • the English higher education funding body (HEFCE) reported in March 2013 that financial results are stronger than those previously projected in June 2012 despite a fall in public funding;
  • the median pay package of the highest paid staff in the sector is £242,000.

The highest paid employee in higher education receives more than £500,000 a year. So we know there is money available for those at the very top. Meanwhile over 4,000 employees are paid below the Living Wage of £7.45 an hour (£8.55 in London).

Across the UK terms and conditions are being eroded while job insecurity is increasing. There is a greater use of zero hour contracts and an increase in the gender pay gap.