2016 pay ballot open now!

Our union is currently balloting us on the 2016 pay offer. Members should receive your ballot paper in the post by today (Wednesday 20th April) at the latest. The envelope looks like this! http://www.ucu.org.uk/media/8000/ERS-envelope/Image/ERS_envelope.JPG The local committee is calling on all members to please:

  • Check the post for your ballot envelope which will look like this. http://www.ucu.org.uk/media/8000/ERS-envelope/Image/ERS_envelope.JPG
  • Read and share our union’s ‘Why should I vote’ article. https://www.ucu.org.uk/whyshouldivote
  • A ballot re-issue request for will go live as of Wednesday 20th April and we have circulated that link by e-mail. If you have not received a ballot paper by then, please complete the online form
  • Complete and return your ballot paper as soon as you can in the envelope provided….it’s free!

Whatever your views on pay it really is crucial that every member votes in this ballot and that we are able to demonstrate the strength of feeling amongst staff here. The ballot closes on 4 May. Please don’t leave it to others to speak for you – cast your vote now! If you have not received your ballot paper it is very important that you click here to request one today: https://www.ucu.org.uk/no-HE-ballot-paper. The ballot period is short and closes Wednesday 4 May 2016.

Thank you.

Ballot queries

A member who is abroad and won’t be back until after the ballot period asked:

  1. Is there a way she can vote electronically?
  2. Can she authorise someone else to complete her ballot for her?
  • No – electronic voting is against the law so there is no such facility – but you could lobby your MP now for amendments in the TU Bill (on this and other questions)
  • Members need to request a duplicate ballot to be sent to an alternative address – and NOW: request a replacement here.

The University management’s response to the ballot

You may have seen the message sent out by Denise Everitt about the situation ‘we’ are in. However we are not all in it together! A few carefully chosen figures are offered to suggest what a tight corner we are in, but the management doesn’t acknowledge that pay keeps on increasing significantly in real terms at the top end. Many Vice Chancellors are earning between 10 and 20 times more than a new lecturer…..  And ours is earning approximately nine times a new lecturer on bottom of Grade 7. NINE extra points have been introduced on the Managerial and Professorial scale, taking the top of that scale from £155,002 to £180,000. Meanwhile peanuts are offered to grades 7-10 and below and anyone who’s been on the same point on the scale for the past seven or eight years has suffered a real terms pay cut of 14.5%.

Further, at the same time that they invest substantial sums of money in a buildings’ beauty contest to tickle NSS scores, universities continue to increase the use of precarious contracts for teaching and research – those activities being the core and distinctive thing universities actually DO. We in higher education owe it to our students to invest in our staff – teaching, research and academic related – so we can continue to deliver world class education and expand human knowledge. Failure to invest in “front line” staff will inevitably affect the work which is done, which means the quality of the teaching and research. That will diminish our universities’ influence and impact in the world, as well as being a gross disservice to students who are increasingly burdened with debt that they may never be able to discharge.

The higher education unions have tried and failed to move beyond the main offers year on year, of which the 1% they are offering now is typical. They say we are disrupting a timetable … in which the employer holds all the cards and meetings are timed to debilitate the union’s ability to engage in meaningful negotiations. We say it’s time to give the majority of staff a fair deal, and the unions need your participation and support to make it happen.

Paul, Sian and Owen


Branch officers

University of Kent branch