UCU elections
Taking action in higher education

Autumn action fists

Beat the legal 50% turnout threshold: vote in the UCU reballots

8 January 2020 | last updated: 9 January 2020

Members in 37 UCU branches in higher education are currently being balloted over whether to join the pay & equality and pensions action already being undertaken by colleagues in 60 other institutions.

If your UCU branch is one of those taking part in the fresh ballots and you should by now have received your ballot paper in the post. If you have lost or not received your papers the online form for ordering a replacement can be found here. It is essential that you vote in order to strengthen the union's hand in whichever dispute(s) your branch is taking part. 

The law requires us to have a turnout of 50% in any industrial ballot before we can take industrial action. If your branch beats that threshold and votes 'Yes' to take action it will increase the leverage we have over our employers and improve our chances of getting a good offer from them. If not, your employer will claim that you are happy with year upon year of detrimental changes to your terms and conditions of employment. 

Please take some time to remind yourself of what is at stake. For those of you being balloted in the pay & equality dispute, we are asking employers to address four key problems that affect higher education staff:

For those of you being balloted in the USS dispute, we are attempting to reverse a long-term trend of detrimental changes to our pension scheme that will leave the typical member £240,000 worse off in retirement. 

To check which ballot(s) you should participate in please check here. 

If you don't use your voice, your employer will use it for you. We have already seen movement from employers and if more branches put themselves in a position to join the action, our progress will be even faster. As you return to work after the new year, now is the perfect time to cast your vote: don't leave it until the last minute before the deadline on 28 January.

Jo Grady
UCU general secretary

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