Letter to ULA Members - 29 November 2013

Created on: 29 Nov 2013 | Last modified: 17 Feb 2015

Dear Colleague

I write concerning the planned strike on Tuesday 3rd December 2013.

The EIS-ULA Executive and my office have been making arrangements for next Tuesday’s strike, and hope that it will be a success.

The EIS, together with the UCU, Unison & Unite rejected the offer during the summer of 2013, and lodged a dispute with the Employers. The dispute has focussed on improving the pay element of the pay offer (the 1% pay uplift).

Six additional meetings were held to try and resolve the dispute – the last meeting being at ACAS last Tuesday. Despite the Employers Association (UCEA) publically stating that they are willing to talk and explore resolutions, the Employers Association has steadfastly refused to improve the 1% pay uplift or to re-open negotiations. 

At the last meeting, the Employer Association stated that it is willing to "explore” some of the wording in the pay offer around non-pay issues (i.e. living wage, zero hours contracts/workforce casualisation and gender pay difference) –  although they specifically ruled out any national agreements on any of these matters. The Employers acknowledged that this did not address the pay uplift, and that it would not stop the strike for 3 December 2013.

Sadly, the Employers Association has made no meaningful effort to resolve the current dispute or to avoid strike action on 3 December 2013. On the contrary, its hard line approach leads the EIS to believe that the Employers Association believes that the strikes are a price worth paying.

The Employers’ Association wrote to all HEIs earlier in November stating that the 1% pay uplift should be "implemented”. The reality is that HEIs will be imposing the 1% pay deal.  It says much about the Employers commitment to national bargaining that it’s asked for the pay offer to be imposed during the dispute – and it puts the offers of talks into context.

Next Tuesday, the joint unions will be mounting as many pickets as possible to public entrances. I ask you to contact your EIS-ULA Branch Secretary to join the picket line. The picket lines will be joint union picket lines. Branch Secretaries will have materials and placards – but any member wishing to print EIS posters may download one from:  https://www.eis.org.uk/pay2013-14/Strike_Flyers_and_Posters.htm.

Next Tuesday, the joint unions will be holding joint rallies in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Every striking EIS member is invited:

Edinburgh Rally @ Bristo Square (Edinburgh, EH8 9AL), 12noon. Chair Angi Lamb; speakers: Dave Moxham, (Deputy General Secretary, STUC) Dave Anderson (UCU Scotland President); David Belsey (National Officer EIS) Unison, Unite and NUS invited.

Glasgow Rally @ Adelaides, 209 Bath St, (Glasgow G2 4HZ), 12noon. Chair Ann Gow; speakers: Ian Tasker (Assistant Secretary, STUC); Douglas Chalmers (UCU Scotland Vice President); Nick McKerrell (EIS-ULA President)  Unison, Unite and NUS invited.

There is a FAQ page on the EIS website regarding the strike:  https://www.eis.org.uk/pay2013-14/faqs.htm.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any queries regarding the above (dbelsey@eis.org.uk).
Yours sincerely

David Belsey
National Officer
Further and Higher Education