Tomorrow UCU, UNISON and Unite members working in Higher Education across the UK will be taking strike action over pay. The reasons and case for this action is clear – the five year pay squeeze is affecting our members’ living standards, and our employers are refusing to negotiate with us – even though the money for a fair pay rise is there.
For years now across our sector we have witnessed staff cuts, course cuts and wage cuts. Indeed, the only things in the sector which seem to have escaped cuts in recent times are the remuneration packages of senior management. Workloads are becoming unsustainable, and in the face of rising housing, energy, transport and food costs, our members are working harder and longer for less.
That’s why we’re taking strike action tomorrow – and it’s why we’re asking you to join us on the picket line. This is the first time ever that all three unions have taken action together, and as such it’s a unique opportunity for a fair pay deal. But we can only achieve that if university managers across the country – including those at the School – arrive at work tomorrow to a well-supported picket and an empty building. Only that powerful message will lead to them going to the University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) and telling them that they need to get back around the negotiating table with us.
So let’s work together to win that fair pay deal. Let’s make the case to our colleagues – tell them what their union does for them locally and nationally, and ask them to join us. Let’s make the case to our students – tell them how the pay of those who teach and support them has been eroded, and how ultimately their education will be eroded too – and ask for their support by not attending the School that day. And let’s make the case to our management, so that they go to UCEA with our message ringing in their ears: this derisory 1% pay offer, the years of pay cuts before it and UCEA’s failure to talk to us about equal pay for women, redundancies and the living wage is simply not good enough.
Make the case! Build the union! Support the strike!
LSHTM UCU Branch Committee
LSHTM reps, UCL UNISON Branch Committee
LSHTM Unite Branch Committee