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UCU Scotland members back strikes over both pensions and pay and conditions

31 October 2019

Members of UCU working in Scottish universities have backed strike action in ballots over both pensions and pay and working conditions.

UK-wide, 79% of UCU members who voted backed strike action in the ballot over changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS). In the ballot on pay, casualisation, equality and workloads, 74% of members polled backed strike action*.

UCU said the overwhelming mandate for strikes was a serious indictment on the state of higher education and that if universities failed to respond to the sector's problems then strike action, affecting around a million students, would be inevitable.

The union's higher education committee will meet tomorrow (Friday) to consider the results and next steps in its campaigns to defend pensions, pay and working conditions.

Last year, university campuses were brought to a standstill by unprecedented levels of strike action. UCU said that it was frustrated that members had to be balloted again, but that universities' refusal to deal with their concerns had left them with no choice.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'The results can only be interpreted as clear support for strike action over pensions, pay and working conditions. The ballots reflect just how unhappy and angry staff are at the state of higher education.

'It is incredibly frustrating that we had to ballot members again, but universities only have themselves to blame after failing to address falling real-terms pay and for refusing to deal with casualisation, workloads and the rising cost of USS pensions.

'Universities now have to come back to us prepared to work seriously to address these problems. If they choose to ignore this message from their staff then strike action looks inevitable.'


* RESULTS

USS ballot - here is a full breakdown of the results currently available.

In Scotland the turnout in the USS ballots was 56.9%. The ballots were counted branch by branch and nine branches beat a legal 50% turnout threshold required for strike action.

Universities that passed the 50% turnout threshold in the USS ballot:

Heriot-Watt University

The University of Aberdeen

The University of Dundee

The University of Stirling

The University of Edinburgh

The University of Glasgow

The University of St Andrews

The University of Strathclyde

Scottish Association of Marine Science

Pay and working conditions ballot - here is a full breakdown of the results currently available.

In Scotland the turnout in the pay and conditions ballots was 56.5%. The ballots were counted branch by branch and 11 branches voted for action and beat a legal 50% turnout threshold required for strike action.

Universities that passed the 50% turnout threshold in the pay and conditions ballot and voted to take action:

Glasgow Caledonian University

Glasgow School of Art

Heriot-Watt University

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

The University of Aberdeen

The University of Dundee

The University of Edinburgh

The University of Glasgow

The University of St Andrews

The University of Stirling

The University of Strathclyde

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