BREAKING: the results are in for UNISON’s HE strike ballot

Members of UNISON’s Higher Education Service Group Executive will tomorrow meet to discuss the results of the union’s strike ballot over pay.

UNISON logo iMembers voted by 54.9% in favour of taking strike action after overwhelmingly rejecting bosses’ 1.1% pay offer.

The union says with universities putting billions away in the bank last year, it is clear that money is available for a pay increase, especially as in 2014 to 2015 the average salary of a UK vice chancellor was £272,000 and their average pay rise was a massive 6.1%.

Speaking before the ballot, the union’s head of Higher Education Donna Rowe-Merriman said: “Pay austerity is a ‘choice’ being made by universities – not a necessity. There is clearly money available for some. We believe it should be available for all.

“Since 2009 staff have lost between £1585 – £8428 in real terms as a result of pay rises below the cost of living. Their income has been squeezed and lower salaries will also affect future pension earnings.”

UNISON believes no employee in higher education should be paid less than the Foundation Living Wage (£8.25p / £9.40 in London) and that it is time for incomes for everyone working on campus to match the rising costs of living.

Donna said: “Low pay rises have not protected jobs or prevented redundancies. Job losses have still happened as a result of poor governance and planning.

“A clear majority of members rejected the pay offer in UNISON’s pay consultation. Therefore UNISON’s Higher Education Service Group Executive (HESGE) decided to ballot members and call on them to take escalating industrial action in the autumn.

“UNISON’s HESGE believes the only way for an improved pay offer from the employers is for members to take strike action and show the university employers that enough is enough and that staff need an investment in their pay too.”

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