The future of our disputes

HEC report back meeting

We are still waiting for the results from yesterday’s BDM. But what is clear from the delegates who got to speak is that where branches had met to discuss the questions in light of a full consideration of the issues, many of them took the decision to oppose putting one or both the offers out to consultation.

Many delegates delivered messages that were highly critical of the way the disputes have been led and the nature of the communications from HQ to members. More than one complained that it was difficult to tell union communications from those of the employers, and that the leadership seemed to be representing the employers’ arguments to UCU members, rather than the other way round.

There is a growing realisation that HQ’s argument that UCEA’s offer on the Four Fights does not represent a ‘deal’, and that it could therefore be accepted without an acceptance of the pay element and without jeopardising our ability to take industrial action, makes no sense. It is obvious from the employers’ stipulation that the talks on casualisation, equality and workloads are conditional on no further industrial action for 12 months that a vote by members to accept the offer would settle and end the dispute. In those circumstances, UCU would not be able to restart industrial action without establishing grounds for a new dispute and winning a ballot on those.

On USS, there is no decision for members to take on acceptance or rejection of the offer since it represents only a statement of intent and is not conditional on any agreement or action by UCU. There is a decision to take on when it might be appropriate to apply pressure through further industrial action, but to take that decision before we learn the results of our reballot on Monday would be premature.

UCU Left members of HEC will today resist allowing any consultation to take place on false pretences and without members having full access to information about the reality of the situation. We will also press that no consultation is sent out without being accompanied by a clear recommendation to reject.

Come to this evening’s meeting to hear a report on today’s HEC and to plan a response in light of the outcomes of the meeting.

The future of our disputes
Post-HEC open meeting
7.30pm Thursday 30th March
Register at

Graphic with information about the meeting, with UCU Left logo and a photo of people holding a UCU 'mind the gaps' banner

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