20 October 2023

Created on: 24 Oct 2023

Dear Colleagues

MEMBER ACTION: Post your vote. EIS-ULA are recommending you vote YES to Strike action and YES to Action Short of Strike Action.

If you have not received a ballot paper please email ballot@eis.org.uk

The EIS-ULA Statutory Ballot for industrial action, in pursuit of fair pay for academics, has now been open for three weeks. All members are strongly recommended, by the EIS-ULA Executive, to vote YES to both strike action and action short of strike action (ASOS).

It is essential that EIS-ULA meet the 50% turnout threshold set by anti-trade union legislation. If you have not received your ballot papers through the post, please contact ballot@eis.org.uk.

The dispute on a cost of living pay rise continues, with UCEA remaining in a position of an imposed 5% pay offer, across two instalments – a derisory offer after years of below inflation pay increases and an erosion of pay for academics in the university sector.

The wider backdrop to this pay offer is an ever widening chasm between University management pay and pay for the rest of University staff, a deterioration of working conditions, the casualisation of staff, attacks on pensions, and an ongoing gap between academic pay and pay for those in similar occupations.

Furthermore, we have seen where Universities are prioritising investment and where they are not – namely, you, their hardworking, professional academic staff.

Recent communications have outlined to you the stark departure of academic pay from those in similar professions, and how the students you are currently teaching could quickly overtake academic pay when entering the workforce. 

University lecturer pay has seen modest, below inflationary pay awards for years, other comparable staff have seen steeper pay rises across the same period. From 2019 to 2023, you have seen your pay rise approximately 6.6%, whilst Principal Teachers' pay rose 20.7% across the same period, and Principal Clinical Psychologists' by 15.2%.

In the past, academic roles had good pay by comparison to other jobs, recognising the expertise that is required to provide excellence in teaching and research at the highest level and the contribution to the good of society. Now you have fallen behind other professions, and it is time that decline stopped.

Successfully tackling these issues within Universities needs solidarity and a collective challenge to face down management’s erosion of pay and conditions for academic staff.

Whilst this needs university lecturers to challenge university management and have your voices heard, you are not doing this alone. The first step is voting in the ballot so that we can meet the legislative 50% turnout threshold.

The EIS has been successful in Scotland in winning decent pay awards in schools and further education in recent years, and we will stand behind university lecturers in making the same demands for a credible pay award. 

A stubbornly high RPI of 8.9% in the UK means a pay offer which adequately addresses cost of living concerns has never been so important than right now. 

Please do not delay and post your YES vote to Strike Action today.