Consultative Ballot on pay result

Dear Unite members

Thanks for all of the replies I have received. The result is as follows and I will notify our National Officer this afternoon:-
Votes cast:- 101
Votes For:- 92
Votes Against:- 9
% in favour of acceptance:- 91.09%
% against acceptance:- 8.91%
Turnout approx.:- 41%

Therefore we have by a large margin voted to accept, as soon as I get the National result, I will let you have it.

Best wishes


The COO Talk

For those of you able to get to any of Geoff Pringle’s talks will know there have been a number of new proposals made.

Voluntary redundancy/early retirement deals
Over the next 12 months, there will be a concerted effort to restructure the University for efficiencies and part of this strategy is to offer those close to retirement an incentive to take voluntary severance or early retirement deals. Details of these packages have yet to be announced. The ongoing professional services review will inform the restructuring process. They haven’t ruled out the possibility of compulsory redundancy.

Financial Headroom
Despite having commitments to large capital projects, the University also wants to start raising what has been described as £25M of ‘financial headroom’ (=spare cash). This will happen over an undeclared timeframe, and to which professional services is to contribute £10M.

Reward strategy
There is currently a review of Reward, Retention and Performance. No real details have been released yet but the worry is how changes will impact on our members. There is a real danger that changes are likely to be a divisive unless there is real transparency in the implementation and operation of any changes.

Annualized hours
This was mentioned very briefly and is about creating flexible working to overcome pinch points and reduce (eliminate) overtime. ACAS has a good explanation here:

Again, the subject was touched on only briefly and is another potentially contentious issue.  What Geoff Pringle did say, however, was that they might even consider bringing some services back in-house if existing outsourcing had failed to deliver savings.

Union Membership

It has to be said here that the fact that we are even talking about 2% is as a direct consequence of our industrial action, in particular, the fact that all campus unions acted together. Unite’s scope for creating an impact is limited but UCU (the academic union) and their continued marking boycott has focussed the employer’s side. Such is the anger over the inequalities in pay that during the dispute UCU at Exeter have recruited many new members. We need to try to match this: the more members we have, the better we’re placed to fight for fairness. If current members recruited just one more each, what a great place we’d be in!

100% recruitment campaign

The Branch has signed up to a membership recruitment campaign and whilst 100% may be unachievable, numbers do matter. I attach a form here from our Regional Officer which I would ask you to complete to better inform our recruitment strategy. Please return it to me (Sean) or Brett to compile the results.

I’ve never felt particularly comfortable about being a union missionary: selling the merits of collective bargaining has always been obvious to me but others may need persuading. If you don’t feel able to recruit personally, then members of the committee or Regional Officers would be happy to meet with your colleagues. Or you could point potential members at the Unite web site: