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Taking action in higher education

UCU tells 'insulting' employers to stop interference in members' ballot

15 February 2008 | last updated: 14 December 2015

UCU today attacked the latest efforts from university heads to influence its current ballot on the future of pay negotiations.

The union said its members, not university bosses, would be the ones to decide what happens next in pay bargaining and warned employers to stay out of its democratic processes.

A Times Higher Education article by a Human Resources manager at Kingston University describes UCU members as 'a vocal, militant minority who cannot see either the future of modern employee relations' and criticises UCU for seeking its members' views on proposals from the national employers looking to protect its members' interests as they vote on the future of pay negotiations. UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said the article was indicative of a worrying lack of understanding at a senior level of how trade union democracy works.

Sally Hunt said: 'Employers trying to influence UCU's democratic processes might not be anything new, but describing hard working UCU members as a militant minority is beyond the pale and all too typical of the modern HE employers. The predictable nature of the attack doesn't make it any less offensive. It is up to UCU members to decide what happens next in terms of pay negotiations and they should be free to make that decision without outside influence from people who clearly have little understanding either of the contribution our members make to HE or why they are members of our union.'

The article, which invites comments, can be found here.