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August, 2022:

Help Us Get The Vote Out!

We are getting ballot ready!

You will be aware that, following recent Congress and HEC decisions, UCU will be balloting its members on the UCU Rising campaign in the autumn.  This campaign was launched to members last Wednesday 10 August – if you missed the launch, you can find the recording here. 

This is a call for volunteers to help us with our local Get The Vote Out plans (GTVO).

If you have some time to spare to remind colleagues to vote, please get in touch, especially if your department does not currently have a UCU rep: Department reps – Reading University UCU. Even if you only have a few hours over the Autumn, it would be much appreciated:

Our Southern regional office is also helpfully holding a briefing on Get the Vote Out to be held online via Teams on Thursday 1 September from 1-3pm – so if you are new to GTVO, there are lots of resources and help on hand.

It is important to note that this time round the ballots will be aggregated, which means in order for all HE branches to be able to take action we need to exceed the 50% threshold nationally.  We are hopeful that with some early planning and actions from us all, we can beat the 50% barrier this time round.

We will be organising a branch GTVO meeting soon, to discuss recent developments (please see section 2 here for updated FAQ on the USS dispute: UCU – FAQs)

We look forward to hearing from you!

Getting Ballot Ready

You will have hopefully seen HQ comms at the start of July detailing that nationally elected reps have agreed a strategy for the USS and Four Fights campaigns for 2022/23.

In summary, UCU is calling on UUK to withdraw their imposed benefit cuts to the USS pension and to carry out a new evidence-based valuation.

UCU is rejecting the 3% pay offer from the employers and is seeking a substantial pay increase alongside action to close equality pay gaps, eliminate casualisation and precarious work and to address excessive workloads. After a meeting on the 14th of July with the employer representatives (UCEA), Vice chancellors again failed to make an improved offer on pay.

If UCU claims are not met by the employers, it has been agreed nationally that all affected UCU branches will begin aggregated ballots this Autumn. This comes at a time when ballots in FE have just achieved outstanding results relating to a dispute involving pay, workload, and professional respect.

You can help us by checking that your records are correct on ‘My UCU‘. Please check that you have the following correct information:

1. The postal address you want future voting papers to be sent to

2. Your correct current Branch name

3. Your correct current preferred email

4. Your correct current preferred mobile phone number

5. That you are on the correct membership category: (student/standard free/full/retired/attached)

We will keep you updated on developments (and do keep an eye out for the UCU ‘Friday emails,’ which provide members with a good weekly roundup of all campaigns and other issues).