As you are no doubt aware we have had 2 days of strike action on the 31st October and 3rd December 2013. This was taken after a strong majority vote in favour of strike action over the miserly 1% pay offer. This was a national vote by Unite members within Higher Education. Our sister Unions UCU, Unison and slightly later EIS had similar votes. Which meant Unite, Unison and UCU took action on the 31st October. And then all 4 Unions took action on the 3rd December.
UCU (Academics Union) have also been taking additional action in the form of 2 hour strikes.
I recently sent out an email to members asking for their views on further action. There were some members who said no to further strikes, some who indicated a preference for 2 hour strikes, however there was still a large majority who indicated we should strike for one day on the 6th February along with the other Trade Unions. I reported this to the National Committee and though members at other institutions also had mixed views, the majority at most Universities said the same as Exeter members.
Therefore, Unite along with our sister Unions have called a further day of action on the Thursday 6th February 2014.
Your committee understands that this will be a difficult decision for our members, but urge as many as possible to support this day of action if at all possible. We are having a Branch Meeting on Monday the 3rd February where we will discuss this day of action and also whether the Branch can do more financially for members who would like to support the strike but are worried about losing a day’s pay.
(Please remember to claim your Unite Strike pay, that is what it is there for.)
On a positive note for all, after prolonged negotiations with the University, Unite along with our sister Unions have achieved a fantastic negotiated settlement on the Living Wage. It will mean cleaners and others on Grade A getting an instant pay increase and being moved on to Grade B, with an overall 10.6% uplift over the coming years. Porters and others on the existing Grade B scale will also receive increases as the new Grade B will extend up an additional two spine points.
This is what can be achieved by strong Trade Unions and its members working together. We hope you will be able to support the action and more details will follow. Any questions please contact the Branch Secretary.
Unity is strength