23 September 2022

Created on: 28 Sep 2022 | Last modified: 23 Feb 2023

Dear Member

Following a consultative ballot, which strongly indicated EIS-ULA members wished to take action in the current pay dispute, the EIS-ULA Executive has decided to run a statutory ballot for industrial action.

Years of pay suppression, Universities prioritising other spending/building reserves and a cost-of-living crisis have combined, to make this action necessary in the face of a sub inflationary 3% offer from UCEA. With inflation sitting at around 12%, this offer from UCEA constitutes yet another large real terms cut to the value of your salary, which has already fallen in value by 29% since 2009. Further negotiation without action will not lead to an increased offer from the employers. We need to take action to convince UCEA that they need to come back with a better offer. Your EIS-ULA Executive are asking members to vote YES to strike action.

Statutory ballots are the legal route trade unions must take to initiate lawful industrial action. You must vote in this ballot, even if you already voted in the consultative ballot.

The statutory ballot will open on 29th September and close on 21st October. This means that you will receive a ballot paper in the post around 30th September and must send that ballot paper back for it to be counted. It is necessary to achieve a turnout of more than 50% in statutory ballots for the result to be actionable. Not voting has the same effect as voting no to action because of these rules.

On this occasion, we will be running a disaggregate ballot. That means we will be balloting separately in each institution, not just counting up the numbers of EIS-ULA members across the whole sector who voted (the latter being how we normally run EIS-ULA ballots). This disaggregation means that Branches that support action are more likely to be able to take it. It also allows us to fit in with the actions being taken by other unions who are also in dispute over pay, in institutions where we do not currently have recognition. For example, we might choose to link to action being planned by Unison, Unite or UCU.

If you do not receive a ballot paper by 1st October, please contact us at ballot@eis.org.uk and we will get you another paper sent out as soon as possible. The last safe posting date for your ballot paper will be 19th October.

If we get a positive result for strike action in this ballot, it is anticipated that strike action could commence from November. We plan to co-ordinate with other sector unions in maximising the impact of the strikes wherever that is possible.

Meetings are being arranged so you can hear about the pay dispute, what we're planning and for members to ask questions. Some meetings will be on campuses, and some online. Please attend if you can.

Pay campaign materials will be uploaded to the website next week in advance of the ballot opening. Please use them. Stick a poster up in your office, use the social media hashtag and join us on Facebook or twitter (@EIS_ULA).