UCU update members at 13 universities are being re-balloted, more could follow

Even more universities could face disruption in the new year if disputes over pensions and over pay and conditions are not resolved

UCU members at 13 universities are going to be asked to back strike action in ballots that open on Wednesday 4 December and close on Tuesday 28 January. UCU members at 60 universities* walked out yesterday in the first of eight days of strikes that finish on Wednesday 4 December.

The branches being reballoted are:

  • Imperial College London
  • University of Kent
  • Leeds Beckett University
  • Leeds Trinity University
  • SOAS
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • University of Worcester
  • University of Salford
  • University of Portsmouth
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of Arts London
  • University of the West of Scotland
  • Falmouth University

The union has warned that if the disputes cannot be resolved then more strikes are likely in the new year, with more members eligible to take part and more universities and students affected. UCU said even more branches could be reballoted in January.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘We have been clear from the outset that UCU members are prepared to take serious and sustained action to defend their pay and conditions, as well as their pensions. Thirteen branches have already come back to us and said they want to be balloted again so they can join the action should further strikes be required after Christmas.

‘The incredible support for the strikes yesterday and today can leave no university in any doubt how serious our members are and it is now time for them to come back to negotiations with serious proposals to resolve these disputes.’

Yesterday, the union reported strong support for the strikes and that over 3,500 people had joined the union in the three weeks after it announced the current round of strikes.

Last month, UCU members backed strike action in two disputes, one on changes to the USS pension scheme and one on universities’ failure to make improvements on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads.

Overall, 79% of UCU members who voted backed strike action in the ballot over changes to pensions. In the ballot on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads, 74% of members polled backed strike action.

* UK universities affected by strike action from Monday 25 November

Both disputes (42):
1.     Aston University
2.     Bangor University
3.     Cardiff University
4.     University of Durham
5.     Heriot-Watt University
6.     Loughborough University
7.     Newcastle University
8.     The Open University
9.    The University of Bath
10.  The University of Dundee
11.  The University of Leeds
12.  The University of Manchester
13.  The University of Sheffield
14.  University of Nottingham
15.  The University of Stirling
16.  University College London
17.  The University of Birmingham
18.  The University of Bradford
29.  The University of Bristol
20.  The University of Cambridge
21.  The University of Edinburgh
22.  The University of Exeter
23.  The University of Essex
24.  The University of Glasgow
25.  The University of Lancaster
26.  The University of Leicester
27.  City University
28.  Goldsmiths College
39.  Queen Mary University of London
30.  Royal Holloway
31.  The University of Reading
32.  The University of Southampton
33.  The University of St Andrews
34.  Courtauld Institute of Art
35.  The University of Strathclyde
36.  The University of Wales
37.  The University of Warwick
38.  The University of York
49.  The University of Liverpool
40.  The University of Sussex
41.  The University of Ulster
42.  Queen’s University Belfast
Pay and conditions dispute only (14):
1.     Bishop Grosseteste University
2.     Bournemouth University
3.     Edge Hill University
4.     Glasgow Caledonian University
5.     Glasgow School of Art
6.     Liverpool Hope University
7.     Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts
8.     Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
9.     St Mary’s University College, Belfast
10.  Roehampton University
11.  The University of Oxford
12.  Sheffield Hallam University
13.  The University of Brighton
14.  The University of Kent
USS pensions dispute only (4):
1.       Scottish Association of Marine Science
2.       The University of Aberdeen
3.       The University of East Anglia
4.       Institute for Development Studies

UCU Ballot News

Thanks to all involved in the recent UCU ballot.

Our ballot return was 38.5 % with a 2 to 1 majority for action. As we did not get through the 50 % turnout threshold this means no action will be taken at CCCU. In the ballot  last year we achieved a 27 % turnout. It is clear that there is a great deal of dissatisfaction across the sector and that this is reflected at CCCU. Our improved turnout and vote will, I believe, strengthen our negotiations at CCCU.

We will be seeking to support our colleagues taking industrial action and it is possible we will re-balloted soon.

UCU CCCU will continue to work to improve staff working conditions and defend and improve HE provision.

Best Wishes,

Bryan Hawkins