CONSULTATIVE BALLOT - VOTE NOW!
Today has seen the price cap on energy raised by the regulator “Ofgem”. That means your energy bills are likely to increase dramatically from October. The previous energy price cap was £1,971 for the average household. As of October 1st, the new cap is £3,549 a year, which amounts to an increase of 80%. The price cap is now reviewed every three months. Many economists and energy industry analysts believe the price cap will rise even further to above £4,000 per annum when it is next reviewed in three months.
As you will be aware from your own experiences, inflation is also soaring, with RPI (the Retail Price Index) now sitting at 12.3% even before the energy price cap rise announcement today. Last week, Citibank sent out a warning that they expect RPI to reach 18% by January 2023. RPI is calculated from a notional basket of goods/services commonly bought by people in the UK, but, as the ONS acknowledges, it does not seek to and does not capture the entirety of the cost-of-living.
For many people, their level of inflation could be even higher than RPI. You can use the calculator from the ONS to find your household level of inflation.
Despite high levels of inflation and the cost-of-living crisis biting over the last few months – the Employers have not improved their final offer of 3% for academics. The latest university (and HEI) accounts in Scotland show record “closing reserves” – over £ 5billion.
Whatever your household inflation, even if you reduce your use of gas/electricity, one thing is for sure, your university’s 3% pay offer is just not going to cover your rising energy and other household costs. The EIS and other HE trade unions believe that a decent pay rise for university staff will only be possible after sustained industrial action.
It’s time to take action to force the universities to make a fair pay offer. Words alone will not do it.
Vote YES to action short of strike and YES to strike action. We need everyone to vote so that we can use our ballot result to put pressure on the Employers.
You owe it to yourself and to your fellow lecturers to vote YES and YES! Vote now.