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Vote YES to save higher education: ballots arriving from Wednesday 20 September

11 September 2023

Today UCU has served notice to your employers for a national industrial action ballot in our pay and conditions dispute.

We cannot and will not bow down to an employer hell bent on ripping up your terms and conditions and destroying the sector you have all invested so much in.

This is our third ballot in the last year. We know you are tired. We know you are worn out. But we also know you will never give in to intimidation and bullying.

It is only with a massive YES vote that we can address years of pay cuts, unbearable workloads, rampant casualisation, and unacceptable pay inequalities.

The truth is the action so far has won back USS pensions, put a pay offer on the table and delivered regular negotiations on non-pay elements--Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) would not even meet us a year ago, nor would they countenance negotiating on anything but pay. But we must move them further.

Winning a national ballot is never an easy task, but I know that every part of our union will come together once again to pull out all of the stops to bring home this victory. We must do this united and with our efforts fully focused on the ballot.

On the eve of ballots landing on doorsteps join me for a special ballot-eve UCU LIVE event on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday 19 September at 18:30.  Let us show our employers what is coming with thousands of members committing to voting YES in the comments.

It is time to get prepared. Make sure that your details are up to date on MyUCU, contact all of your colleagues and let them know about the ballot, tell us on social media why you will be voting YES, and be ready to vote YES as soon as the ballot paper lands on your doorstep.

Finally, there has been so much feedback since higher education committee (HEC) withdrew the marking and assessment boycott (MAB). I am really pleased to see so many members calling for a full and wider strategy to win this dispute. That is exactly the right decision. This is why, alongside asking you to vote YES, we will also be seeking your views on future action, our political strategy, leverage tactics, recruitment and community campaigning.

If UCEA think they have faced down the UCU then they need to think again.

Speak to your colleagues, attend meetings, spread the word--we go again.

In solidarity

Jo Grady
UCU general secretary

Last updated: 27 September 2023