- Members vote more than 3:1 Yes
- 14 more branches join the fight, 8 post-92
- Over 50,000 HE members in 74 universities able to strike
The latest round of ballots in Higher Education were reported on Wednesday 29 January.
Another 12 institutions have joined the “Four Fights” dispute, 8 of which are post-92, and 6 have gained a strike mandate in the USS pensions fight.
It brings the total number of universities taking part to 74, 14 of which are post-92.
Two institutions have mandates for both disputes, and the University of Oxford, which won a mandate on pay but narrowly missed the threshold on USS, also crossed the threshold. Similarly University of East Anglia gained a mandate on pay.
In total, 14 additional branches have gained a mandate for strike action over one or both disputes, including Imperial College London, which also balloted locally over pay (they are outside national pay bargaining).
The figures are impressive. Slightly more than 4,500 balloted members have joined the USS fight, taking the total percentage of balloted members eligible to strike to around 87% of the pre-92 USS sector.
In the pay dispute, the total number of additional strikers is slightly more, which increases the strike coverage from 60% to 67% of the entire HE sector.
Using 2019 balloted membership figures*, the number of balloted members in branches able to participate in strikes now exceeds 50,000.
Some branches raised their turnout very substantially between October 2019 and January 2020.
Bath Spa, the University of the Arts London (UAL) and the University of Worcester all increased their turnout by 20 percentage points. For example UAL (with nearly 700 members balloted), increased their turnout from 34% to 54%.
Topping the list of ‘gainers’, the Royal College of Art (100 members) increased their turnout by 28 percentage points.
Unfortunately Worcester just missed out of 50% — another victim of the Tory Anti-Union Law.
Members vote Yes to action
But this is turnout. What matters democratically is whether members are voting Yes. The Yes votes are highly impressive. The average Yes strike vote on the Four Fights claim was 76%, and on USS, 79.4%.
The ballots also cover Action Short of a Strike, where numbers and mandates are very similar (Four Fights: 85% Yes, USS: 83% Yes).
Members are expecting to be asked to take 14 days’ strike action over USS, and possibly over pay. Anyone who thinks that members are not prepared to take hard-hitting action, or want yet another “consultation” needs to look closely at the ballot results.
The results are in. Members are ready to fight, and members in 15 more branches have proved it.
The institutions which achieved a turnout of 50% or more are:
1. King’s College London
2. Imperial College London
3. Keele University
4. University of Oxford (already has live ballot on Pay)
5. SOAS, University of London (also on Pay)
6. Birkbeck College, University of London (also on Pay)
1. SOAS, University of London (also on USS)
2. The University of Huddersfield
3. Birkbeck College, University of London (also on USS)
4. The University of Winchester
5. University of the Arts London
6. De Montfort University
7. University of East Anglia (already has a live ballot on USS)
8. University of Greenwich
9. University of East London
10. Leeds Trinity University
11. Bath Spa University
12. Royal College of Art
Total number of institutions now able to strike over USS or pay/four fights: 14 + 60 = 74.
*Membership has grown since, in some branches by as much as 20%.