Text of email from Branch President Vicky Blake
Thank you to everyone who voted in the Pay and Equality Ballot, and all who helped us to get the vote out. As you will see from Matt Waddup’s email that has just gone out to members nationally, our historically high turnout in this postal ballot on pay and equality was not quite enough to break the 50% threshold set by the (anti-)Trade Union Act 2016.
In this email:
• Our result
• What next in the pay and equality dispute
• Local campaigning and action on gender pay and casualisation
Prior to 2016, we would be celebrating this turnout, and this result. At Leeds, members voted strongly for strike action (69.8%) and action short of a strike (77.7%). This government’s anti-trade union legislation has denied us our right to withdraw our labour despite our turnout of 49.2%. We only needed 15 more votes to break the threshold.
(You may wish to note that, while advocating the 50% threshold’s introduction, Boris Johnson was in post as London Mayor having achieved… 31.8% turnout in his election.)
We remain in dispute over the joint unions’ pay and equality claim. Two important meetings are coming soon which will inform the union’s next steps:
1 November Higher Education Committee (HEC)
7 November Special Higher Education Sector Conference (HESC) on Pay and Equality
I am an elected member of HEC, and I would very much value your comments and thoughts. I will write with further updates following that meeting on 1 November. As a branch, we are also sending 5 delegates to the HESC (+ me in HEC capacity), and similarly all of us would value feedback from the branch before we go.
Local campaigning on gender pay and casualisation
Locally, we continue our work to push senior management to implement effective policies for closing the 22.5% gender pay gap at the University of Leeds. On 15 August, we submitted our Gender Pay Claim asking for further data on the extent of the gap and how it affects different groups of staff, and arguing for a clear timeline for redressing the problem by 2025 (the Claim can be found here: http://www.leedsucu.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Gender_Pay_Claim.pdf). Meetings are now being set up in which we will be negotiating for meaningful change.
On Friday (26 October) members are invited to “UCU Anticas Roadshow: IGNITION!“ events in Leeds University Union – to kick off planning for the Anti-Casualisation Roadshow and to turbo-boost our Anti-Casualisation claim. We’re also holding a “Contract Casualty: a drop in for the confused” from 12-2pm. Please see attached flyer and please circulate! Our workshops on Friday will lay the foundation of a strategy day we’re holding with our branch anticas activists in mid-November, with national UCU bargaining office support.
Vicky and Committee