RespectFE ballot - GTVO banner wide RespectFE ballot - GTVO banner narrow Boycott Goldsmiths HE dispute: ASOS - support the ongoing action

Fri 11 March 2022

The Friday email: 11 March 2022

11 March 2022

Further education: vote YES for respect

Members at dozens of colleges are being invited to vote in a consultative e-ballot in support of UCU's campaign to address pay erosion and spiralling workloads as well as a demand for professional respect. More information including a list of the college branches involved can be found here. You can request a replacement link to vote by clicking here.

For more than a decade college staff have suffered below inflation pay rises and with the cost of living crisis now hitting hard, it's time for an increase in FE pay that keeps up with inflation and addresses the 35% real terms pay cut and the huge disparity with school teacher salaries.

  • Please show your support and vote YES. The consultation will close on Wednesday 30 March 2022.
  • 'Your union, your voice' activist taster courses: if you work in FE and would like to get more involved in the union please click here for information.

Higher education strikes and reballoting 

UCU's higher education committee (HEC) met on 25 February and agreed the next steps in our campaigns. Details of a new wave of strikes with two groups of branches taking action in different weeks can be found here.

At that meeting, HEC also decided to immediately renew our mandate in order to be able to take further action after the current ballot mandate expires on 3 May. 

Although the disputes over USS and the Four Fights are seperate, reballoting will run at the same time, meaning some members will have two ballots to complete, others one. The timetable for action on both USS and Four Fights is: 

Click here for full balloting details.

Please look out for your ballot pack in the post from Wednesday next week and talk to your colleagues to remind them to vote. 

Northern Ireland further education pay

After delay at government level progressing the Northern Ireland FE pay agreement, UCU wrote to the Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance threatening an escalation of industrial action if payment was not made in the March salary. The matter has now been resolved and negotiations for the 21/22 salary round will resume. Members continue in ASOS while negotiators press for pay parity with schoolteachers.

March against racism for Anti-racism Day, Saturday 19 March

As part of UN Anti-Racism Day 2022, UCU is supporting the Stand Up To Racism mobilisation on 19 March and members are invited to join us at the demonstration assembling at 12 noon, Portland Place, London.

Changes to the Teachers Pensions Scheme (TPS)

The government is making changes to all public sector pension schemes, including TPS, from 1 April 2022. These changes will remove the age discrimination found by the courts in the way in which the 2015 CARE schemes were introduced.

From 1 April 2022 all final salary schemes will close for future accrual. From that date all TPS members will build up future pension benefits in the 2015 CARE scheme.

From October 2022 eligible members will have a choice about how they want their pension to be calculated for the period 2015 to 2022 (either final salary or career average).

Please watch the webinar recording and FAQs on the website for more information.

Equality research conference: call for papers

UCU's equality research conference will be held online over 3 days, Tuesday 17 to Thursday 19 May 2022. The call for papers is open. See here for more information about the conference. and submit a proposal using our online form.

UCU members fighting back

You can find out more about all the local UCU campaigns in colleges and universities here.

LGBT+ Pride and solidarity webinar, Tuesday 22 March

In this webinar we'll be discussing how to promote LGBT+ inclusion, and solidarity with LGBT+ people, in post-school education. The webinar is a part of our ongoing campaign to promote LGBT+ solidarity across our union.

To attend please complete the registration form by 2pm on Monday 21 March.

TUC demo in Blackpool postponed

Please note that the demo proposed for 19 March has been postponed. TUC's Britain Needs A Pay Rise campaign will continue across the UK including hosting a national mobilisation in London this summer.

Last updated: 11 March 2022