The EIS-ULA Consultative Ballot is now open:
From Tuesday 22nd June and closes at midday on Tuesday, 20th July 2021.
Members are posed one question:
Are you willing to accept the Employers' final pay offer for 2021/22 or do you reject the Employers' final pay offer, in the knowledge that rejection may lead to a ballot for industrial action, up to and including strike action, to secure an improved offer?
The EIS-ULA Executive Committee is recommending that members vote to 'reject' the offer.
After three extended pay round meetings and intense negotiations, the employers have made a headline pay offer of 1.5% for spine point 22 and above, with differentiated (slightly higher) awards below that spine point for the 2021/22 pay round. They have once again refused to facilitate a Scottish Subcommittee of New JNCHES.
You can see the offer here: https://www.eis.org.uk/ULA/Pay2021
The headline pay offer fails to meet the demands of the Joint Trade Union claim. During the negotiations, the EIS, together with UCU, Unite, Unison and the GMB, argued that members' pay should increase by both a 'keep up' and 'catch up' element - Retail Price Index ('RPI') to allow pay to 'keep up' with inflation and an additional amount designed to help employees' pay to recover to pre-2009 levels ('catch-up').
The negotiators outlined that the value of members' pay has declined and has continued to fall in recent years. Since 2009, the cumulative loss to pay, compared to rises in inflation, is over 20%. Negotiators also emphasised that the living standards of our members are falling at the same time as their workload and stress increases. We also argued that given last year the employers refused to award any uplift, that this should be made right in the 2021/22 round, particularly given the dedicated and outstanding performance of HE staff during the Covid 19 pandemic.
A pay uplift of 1.5% for 2021/22 is likely to fall far short of inflation, as RPI is predicted to top 2% this year, making this offer yet another real terms cut for staff above spine point 22. It also falls far short of other public sector pay settlements which we have seen awarded as well as doing nothing to recognise the increase workloads and stresses placed on staff this past year, and in the coming academic year.
Universities will argue that any settlement must be affordable, but we know that they can afford to pay more. Universities are consistently choosing to pay their senior staff more than the pay increases agreed for lecturers at New JNCHES. University Principals in Scotland are receiving pay packages in excess of that received by the First Minister!
The EIS-ULA Executive Committee has decided to issue a consultative ballot to seek members' views on the pay offer. The other recognised unions at New JNCHES are also consulting their members.
Members should be aware that if they reject the pay offer, then the EIS-ULA is likely to begin a sustained industrial action campaign which may involve strike action.
We must continue to organise in our branches and move forward in the confidence that, like the school teachers, we can stand together and ensure that University lecturers are valued too.
Please be advised that this is an internal consultative ballot for the EIS-ULA Executive Committee to ascertain the views of members and is not a statutory ballot for industrial action.
No links available.