No more consultation – now organise the fights.

HE branches have received a circular from UCU Head of Higher Education which says that following the Sector Conference, it is now necessary to consult members on the pay and USS campaigns.

Branches are instructed to call Emergency General Meetings to sound out members’ views on a disparate range of questions regarding action, timing, and whether the membership is ‘ballot ready’.

This is totally unnecessary and threatens to undermine the union’s democratic processes. The membership have already spoken loud and clear on the 2020-21 pay ‘award’. They rejected it by 86%. Branch delegate meetings in April produced a majority for action and decided that the next steps should be in the hands of the June HESC.

We now have the results of the HESC. The motions calling for fights over both pay/Four Fights and USS were all carried. They commit the union to organising industrial campaigns over both issues and to coordinate the two campaigns where possible.

None of the motions call for further consultation of branches in advance of ballots. Instead, they call for the provision of resources for a concerted campaign to explain the issues to members and maximise the chances of beating the threshold in industrial action ballots.

It is the responsibility of the Higher Education Committee when it meets on 2nd July to put these motions into practice. 

UCU Left urges branches to organise EGMs as instructed if they can, but to use them for preparing for action. The elected negotiators listed below can be invited to attend meetings. Branches should also aim to pass the model motion below and submit it to HEC by 30 June, informing an HEC member that you have done so. (There are two versions – one for pre-92 and one for post-92 institutions.)

UCU Left-supporting negotiators

Pay/Four Fights

USS

Motion on pay and USS consultation (pre-92 branches)

This branch notes:

  • The ballot on the 2020-21 pay ‘award’ which produced an 86% rejection by members
  • The branch delegate meetings in April to canvas opinion on the pay campaign
  • The employers’ unacceptable offer for 2021-22
  • The motions calling for action over pay/Four Fights at HESC (HE1-5), and on USS (HE12) all of which were carried
  • The amendment HE2A.1 committing the union to coordinate the fight over pay with the fight to defend USS.

This branch believes that now is the time to set the timetable and organise the ballot for action, not for further consultation and prevarication.

This branch calls on HEC to implement the HESC motions and organise the campaigns over pay/Four Fights and USS.

Motion on pay and USS consultation (post-92 branches)

This branch notes:

  • The ballot on the 2020-21 pay ‘award’ which produced an 86% rejection by members
  • The branch delegate meetings in April to canvas opinion on the pay campaign
  • The employers’ unacceptable offer for 2021-22
  • The motions calling for action over pay/Four Fights at HESC (HE1-5), all of which were carried.
  • The amendment HE2A.1 committing the union to coordinate the fight over pay with the fight to defend USS.

This branch believes that now is the time to set the timetable and organise the ballot for action, not for further consultation and prevarication.

This branch calls on HEC to implement the HESC motions and relaunch the Four Fights in coordination with the USS campaign.

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