All out for USS

It's not too late! Universities UK can still commit to meaningful negotiations over pensions and end the strike action.

CEIA note to USS members

The Commission for Effective Industrial Action (CEIA) sends solidarity greetings to all USS delegates.

The CEIA was initiated by the general secretary, and contains one elected representative from each region or nation. The commission is chaired by the UK president, and its task is to make recommendations on industrial action strategy to a future special congress.

We will make a detailed report in the new year, but we felt it might be useful for USS delegates to be aware of some key principles which we have already discussed and which we expect to form part of our final report.

  1. The importance of keeping branches properly up to speed with disputes including providing proper notice of ballots and of any communications with the employers.
  2. The need for the union to undertake long term campaign planning which identifies issues around which members think are important, mobilises members around those issues and sets out a clear strategic path for the campaign.
  3. The need to move beyond largely ineffective one day strikes and towards taking sustained strike action which should be timed effectively and aimed at economically hurting the employers and publicly embarrassing them. We should clearly signal this strategy both to members when they vote and to employers if they choose not to negotiate with UCU.
  4. The need for ASOS, if it is to be used, to be part of rather than a replacement for a broader strike centred strategy. The union needs to explain clearly to members the paradox that if ASOS is effective it will almost certainly attract a substantial penalty from the employers. If ASOS is to be used in disputes, the union will need a clear, worked out, well communicated plan to defend members in the event of 100pc pay deductions.
  5. The need to locate action within the union's overall narrative, recognising that while disputes may go at different speeds they all form part of our broader industrial, political and professional agenda. A good current example is the Four Pillars campaign of the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) which is characterised by long term planning, union wide consultation to establish issues that are important to members, a prioritisation of resources and a gradual mobilisation running up to ballot.
  6. The need for the union's campaign messages to always cover broader issues of importance to specific groups of members including the equality agenda and casualisation.
  7. The need for elected committees to make clear recommendations, wherever possible, when a ballot is called.
  8. Support for action to be communicated effectively from national UCU using all mediums.
  9. Where possible, UCU should always try to co-ordinate action with sister unions.
Last updated: 17 November 2017