This week, you should receive a ballot for industrial action on the ‘zero offer’ for the pay year 2021. I am sure you will also receive numerous communications from the employer that seek to undermine UNISON’s campaign for fair pay for university staff.
UNISON senior representatives are adamant that the 0% for 2020/21 deserves to be challenged, and based on the results of consultations with members, our branch has opted to join this strike ballot.
University finances have withstood the various crises brought on by the pandemic, and other parts of Scottish public services still awarded pay rises of 3% or more in 2020/21.
Your colleagues in further education, in a sector that reports to the same Scottish Funding Council and same Scottish Government minister, received 2% or £750, whichever was greater. They also won further improvements in their secondary terms and conditions. This shows it is possible to protect jobs and deliver pay settlements much better than 0%.
In that context, the intransigence of the universities at UK negotiations cannot be justified. A slightly improved offer for the following pay year (again, below other pay offers in Scottish public services) does not make the 0% right.
When your ballot arrives at home, please vote YES as soon as you can, and let the branch know that you have voted so we don’t need to contact you to follow up.
If you’re not minded to vote for action, please still vote, as low turnouts make us look weak, and encourage employers to make further insulting offers to hard-working staff.
Please also encourage your colleagues to use their vote, and to join the union if they haven’t already.