Strike ballot opens at Writtle University College in pay row

19 March 2019 | last updated: 21 March 2019

UCU members at Writtle University College are being balloted for strike action in a row over pay and conditions. The ballot closes on Monday 8 April.

UCU wants Writtle to commit to meaningful negotiations on pay, which has fallen by 21% in real terms over the last decade. The union also wants concrete action to tackle a gender pay gap of 14%, excessive workloads and the difficulties faced by staff without a secure contract.

The union says it is extremely disappointed at Writtle's response of a 2% pay rise delayed until July, with no action to tackle the other issues. UCU says that has left members with no option but to ballot for industrial action.

As well as backing strike action, UCU members are being asked to back 'action short of a strike', which could see them undertake a marking and assessment boycott.

UCU regional official Jane Thompson said: 'Staff have concerns about the falling value of their pay, spiralling workloads, pay inequality and the continued casualisation of the workforce. Staff want these important issues to be taken seriously and that includes the 21% loss in the value of pay since 2009, which a 2% pay offer, deferred until July, does nothing to address.

'We remain open for serious talks to address the issues, but so far management has left us in a situation where we have no alternative but to ballot our members.'

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