Socialist Worker

UCU says reject new offer

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2713


Workers are battling over the 'four fights'  (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Activists in the UCU union are organising to reject an offer on long-running disputes over pay, contracts, workload and equality.

An e-ballot on the offer began on Friday of last week and ends on Wednesday 29 July.

The UCU has said the offer doesn’t meet its demands and is recommending that members reject it.

The UCU Left described the offer to resolve the “four fights” dispute as a “non-offer”.

UCU members held 14 days of strikes in 74 universities during the current wave of action.

They are fighting for equal pay, sustainable workloads, an end to casual contracts and a real-terms pay rise.

Workers are demanding equal pay for women and black workers.

They want a pay rise to make up for the fact that most staff have lost up to 20 percent in real terms over the past ten years.

And a swathe of planned job cuts as university bosses seek to use the virus crisis to push attacks means workloads will get worse.

The UCU Left warned, “Marketisation is not being abandoned as a result of Covid-19.

“Rather it is leading to its intensification with inequality, job cuts, pay cuts and bankruptcy across HE.”

It said the UCU nationally was so far leaving workers to resist such attacks “on a branch-by-branch” level.

But national attacks need a national response from the union.

UCU Left said rejecting the offer would send “a clear market to employers that UCU is serious about defending members and higher education”.

“It would also boost the confidence to fight in those branches facing immediate cuts.”

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