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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 December 2016

Unison members barely earning the living wage in some universities

Unison members in Wales protesting against education cuts, photo R Job

Unison members in Wales protesting against education cuts, photo R Job   (Click to enlarge)

Unison member, Southampton

As terms and conditions throughout the UK are being chipped away, incomes are tightening and security in the workplace is in jeopardy, Unison members voted in September to decide whether or not to strike over the 1.1% pay offer that was made to most members. Workers on the lowest pay scale were offered slightly more but this didn't even bring many to the living wage!

Unison's higher education service group executive called on members to reject the offer and take strike action to get the employers to improve their offer. This followed the results of a consultation in which over two thirds of members who responded voted to reject the offer.

54.9% voted in favour of industrial action. But Unison decided that the vote was too close and there would be no industrial action taken. At the university where I work the 1.1% pay increase was implemented before the ballot had even ended.

I personally feel let down by Unison on this decision. I work with colleagues in their thirties that have had to return to living with parents when relationships have broken down because the cost of rent and living is too great for their own salaries.

Struggling

These are people working full-time but struggling against ever-increasing rents and the cost of living, watching vice chancellors get a 6.1% pay rise while their union accepts a measly 1.1%.

According to recent freedom of information requests sent to all UK universities by Unison, the number of staff paid over 100,000 has increased to over 5,000 - so there is clearly money available for those at the very top in higher education. In contrast, 12,000 staff are currently paid below the living wage of 8.25.

Come on Unison, do something about it! Don't just roll over and take it - we need to organise, fight back and show them we are worth it.

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In The Socialist 7 December 2016:


What we think

No more concessions to Labour right!


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight for a socialist Brexit

Conservatives humiliated in Richmond

Newham council to sack up to 1,300

Slump in unfair dismissal cases - scrap tribunal fees!

Workers can fight Uber-style care

Compensation disabled

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Food banks feature

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NHS crisis and fightback

NHS: Stop the Tory vandals

Hundreds protest the decimation of Devon NHS

Massive support in Stoke for action to save the NHS

Health campaigners in Yorkshire protest "slash and trash plans"


International socialist news and analysis

Victory at Standing Rock: US authorities agree to re-route oil pipeline

Spain: Government forced back by Student Union mobilisations

Italy: Establishment routed - workers alternative needed

Portugal: No to witch-hunts - fight the capitalists not socialists

Austria: Far right temporarily halted

Sudan: General strike in defiance of regime


Socialist Party workplace news

Durham TAs force Labour to suspend pay cuts

Protest against Glasgow Labour's scab workforce plan to defeat Unison strike

Crossrail action in defence of victimised union rep

Unison members barely earning the living wage in some universities

Sacked bakers' union rep Kumaran Bose calls for living wage 'protection'

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Bolton council gives 300k to solicitors while making swingeing cuts

Reading TUSC writes to Labour councillors to demand cuts fight


John Sharpe: 1953-2016

Obituary: John Sharpe: 1953-2016


 

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