We are all with you in solidarity as you strike today to defend jobs and to defend each other. Stand firm!
You have much to be proud of! Not only have members at Queen Margaret University refused to take any threat of staff cuts lying down, you have also smashed the anti-trade union act 2016’s threshold barrier with 72% turnout! May your pickets be massive, fun, and enlightening for all around you!
In contrast, Queen Margaret’s senior management should hang their heads in shame. That management prefer to terrorise staff with the threat of the axe rather than to properly explore alternatives with UCU negotiators is a disgrace.
The proposed cuts would steal livelihoods and intensify workload pressure on staff who remain in post. Your local strike is all our fight. Nobody strikes lightly, so as you stand together for jobs, for education, and for decency and hope: know that we are with you.
Vicky Blake (President) on behalf of us all at Leeds UCU
Your industrial action ballot paper should have arrived shortly after 16 January 2019. It’s vital for our union democracy that you use your vote.
The vote has to be done by post because the government made it illegal to run industrial action ballots online.
Please use your vote – democracy is important
We need to know what the whole membership thinks about taking action, so please vote whatever your view. We’re asking you to tell us locally when you’ve voted (not how you voted) because this will help us get the 50% turnout.
The ballot is open until midday Friday 22nd February.
Why are we balloting again?
Last October Leeds members voted clearly – 70% – to strike over casualisation, gender equality, workload and fair pay, with a turnout of 49%. It was the highest national turnout on a pay ballot in UCU’s history. Only the new anti-trade union law stopped us from striking. We think members should decide, not the government. We’re re-balloting to exceed the 50% legal threshold so that your decision counts. More on this in our Frequently Asked Questions page.
We urge all members to vote Yes to strike and Yes to action short of a strike including a marking boycott.
Requesting replacement ballot paper
If you haven’t received your ballot paper you can request a new one online here. (You will need your membership number). New members should receive one automatically.
We’re asking the employers to work with us nationally to:
Tackle the scandal of casualisation (e.g. 65% of Leeds research staff and 36% of teaching only staff are on fixed-term contracts)
Recognise and address excessive workloads
Take real action on the gender pay gap (22.5% at Leeds)
Offer a fair real-terms pay rise (2% doesn’t even cover inflation)
Questions about the dispute?
You can find out more about the dispute on our Frequently Asked Questions page, and in the posts below, and in emails from local or national UCU reps, and by talking to your UCU department rep. You can also follow us on Twitter @leedsucu.
New colleagues who aren’t UCU members?
Please help us to to keep this branch of UCU strong by encouraging new colleagues to join the union at ucu.org.uk/join.