Here are this week’s updates:

  • UoL Strike Ballot – we’re less than two weeks away from the ballot papers being sent out by post. In the meantime, here are some things to think about:
    • There’s still time for you to update your home address details on My UNISON or by contacting us at unison@leeds.ac.uk. The ballot will be open from Monday, 6 December 2021 to Friday, 28 January 2022.
    • You can now visit UNISON’s national page for further info on the strike ballot, including checking the pay calculator to see how many thousands of pounds your wage has decreased due to below inflation pay rises over the last 12 years. That is money you could now be spending on household bills, holidays and food. Remember, less pay also equals less pension contributions.
    • We’ve endured 12 years of below-inflation pay rises and the employers think they can keep getting away with it. We have to show them we’ve had enough and the only way to do that is to vote in the up-coming ballot – we’ve tried the reasonable negotiation route of national meetings to discuss pay each year, but they are not listening to the unions and their actions in offering below-inflation pay increases shows they do not care that we are losing money each year. Let’s show them that we care about our pay by voting.
    • Currently your “offer” against inflation and National Insurance increase stands a -4%; next year this will be at least -5%. If not now, then when?
  • UCU Strike – you will probably be aware that UCU will be taking strike action on various issues, including pay, from Wednesday 1 – Friday, 3 December. Please do go along to picket lines before work and during your breaks to show your support! UNISON will be providing a free breakfast to those on the UCU picket line on Wednesday, 1 December and we will share details of any rallies or online events that UCU will be holding with you all. We have also donated to UCU’s Strike Fund to show our solidarity with colleagues in UCU.
  • Christmas Raffle – there’s still time to donate to our Christmas Raffle! We will be holding one further donation event on Tuesday, 30 November at Uni of Leeds campus, in the Ziff café from 11.30-1pm and we will also be at Trinity Uni on Wednesday, 1 December 11.30-1pm in the Atrium. Please do come along and donate if you can and you will receive one entry into our prize draw. You can also donate outside of these events at Ziff Café (please leave your name at the counter once you have dropped off your donation) or by dropping by the Branch Office (7.50 EC Stoner).
  • SES Update – following on from a members’ meeting to discuss ongoing problems within SES, we have met with HR and senior managers in SES to discuss ways forward. To date, these have included a commitment from the University to increase recruitment to ensure that all areas have enough staff, to honour any overtime that has been logged up to the end of November and to look at what work can be left to allow staff to concentrate on essential tasks without having to work over hours. We are aware that many of these things will take time, so please do let us know if you are still facing problems in your area and we can take these up on an individual basis. We will continue discussions with the University about SES.
  • Dundee University Strike Action – you may remember from a previous weekly update that Dundee University were taking strike action regarding proposed changes to their local pension scheme and the Branch Committee agreed to donate to their strike fund. We’re all very pleased to hear that strike action has changed the University’s proposal on pensions and that they will be coming back to the negotiating table to speak to the unions about a better way forward. Strike action (or even the threat of strike action) does work! You can find more information here.
  • University Council (& Senate) – support staff have always had two elected representatives on Council – the senior decision making body within the University. In the last week, it has come to our attention that Council has unilaterally decided to end that agreement. Instead they inform us that they will select support staff representatives – those that they deem to be suitable members of staff, with the “skills and experience” required. The interview will be carried out by senior managers and a lay member of Council. We have objected in writing, to this retrograde and anti-democratic move by the University. This was the only avenue that the ‘voice of ordinary staff’ could be heard directly by the University Executive. We note sadly, that this mirrors the move to reduce staff input, especially that of professional support staff, on Senate, to which we have also objected.

As always, if you would like advice and support about a workplace issue, please contact us at unison@leeds.ac.uk or contact your local rep or Branch Officer and you can find up-to-date information on our branch website and social media channels, details of which can be found below.

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Follow: @UoLUnison
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