Good morning members
Many of you will already be aware of the outcome of the ballot on the USS dispute, which arrived in our inboxes at about 7pm last night. This branch has yet again smashed the anti-union 50% legal ballot threshold, with a turnout of 60.8% – 75.2% of those of you who voted said that you are prepared to take strike action, and 85.5% of you who voted said that you are prepared to take action short of a strike.
The results of the Four Fights ballot will be out at some point today – they take longer to count as more branches have been balloted, but I do not expect to see much difference in those results.
This is a magnificent outcome, which repeats what we achieved in 2019, in very different circumstances.
I want to pay particular tribute to everyone who volunteered as part of the effort to get the vote out – texting, calling, messaging people to ensure that as many people as possible exercised their democratic right to have their voice heard. The importance of this work can be seen across the Pennines – our comrades at Manchester University missed the threshold by one (1) vote, amid reports of massive postal delays. Newcastle UCU were short of the threshold by about 6 votes; UCL by 17. Discussions will be had about whether these branches will reballot to be able to join the action, and we will do everything we can to support them.
To remind you, we have an Extraordinary General Meeting next Tuesday 9th at 1pm – we will send a link out on Monday. What we will do in this meeting is discuss the branches views on next steps which we will then feed into a UK-wide branch delegate meeting on Friday 12th. UCU’s higher education committee will then meet on Friday afternoon to make decisions about how we will take industrial action on this mandate. Because of legalities it often takes a little while for those decisions to be announced to members, so we may need to be patient, and the employer must be given 2 weeks notice of any industrial action, suggesting that we can expect any action to start in very late November or December.
Our employers, of course, can avoid the disruption of industrial action, by working in collaboration, with each other and with us, to find settlements to these disputes, and I hope they have woken up this morning determined to do so. In the meantime, we are determined to build our solidarity and our creativity to take effective, powerful action to bring them back to the table.
This was an immense branch effort – I’m proud of us and proud to be your President.
This page was last updated on 5 November 2021