Socialist Worker

UCU union members are voting over poor pay offers

by Carlo Morelli, UCU union national executive
Issue No. 2619

UCU members learned their power during the pensions disupute

UCU members learned their power during the pensions disupute (Pic: Guy Smallman)

The UCU union was to begin balloting its members in higher education this Thursday over a pay offer.

Bosses have imposed a 2 percent pay offer from 2018, which amounts to another real terms pay cut.

Members have already voted in a consultative ballot to reject the offer and move to a full industrial action ballot.

This year’s USS pensions dispute in over 60 universities opened a can of worms over the pay and conditions in higher education.

Union members now understand that they have enormous power to close down one of Britain’s largest sectors.

In doing so, they’ve seen that they can galvanise support from students, staff and the public in a broader campaign to defend education for all.

Fortunately, unlike the ballot in the pensions dispute, the pay campaign can cover all universities. It has the potential to have a still greater impact than in the USS pensions dispute.

But before that can take place, we need to go all out to overcome the Tories’ anti-union legislation requiring a 50 percent turnout in the ballot.

We have done this once this year—now we need to do it a second time.

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