If we hadn’t gone on strike we’d have lost our DB pensions by now. The JEP report shows that when we stand together, we’re strong and we can win.
The strike also reminded us that pensions are only part of what’s wrong with our Universities. As we stood on the pickets, debated in meetings, and came together in teach-outs we also realised that we share a common opposition to the scourges of casualization, inequality, over-work and unpaid overtime. As you know, UCU members are currently being balloted on strike and non-strike action on all of these issues in the pay and equality campaign.
In tense negotiations over the summer no progress was made towards making an improved offer that would do anything for us as members, or meet UCU’s core demands. These include national action on the gender pay gap, on precarious contracts, and on payment in recognition of excessive hours and increasing workloads (we’ve lost 21% of the value of our wages since 2009, and over-work is endemic). You can see the full claim online (PDF). This is a dispute which affects us all: those of us with salaries, as well as the most precariously employed. At Cardiff, we’re better prepared than ever to support striking members with a healthy solidarity fund which we’re building all the time.
Both the UCU nationally and the Cardiff UCU executive urge you to vote YES to both strike action and action short of a strike (ASOS). But however you intend to vote, please vote. Because of the Tories’ anti-trade union laws, we need at least a 50% turnout in order to take action.
Your postal ballot paper has been mailed to the preferred address on your UCU account (please check and update your details, especially if you’ve recently moved jobs or moved house). If you haven’t received a ballot paper, or can’t find the first one you got, you can easily get a replacement.
If you’ve already voted, there’s more you can do:
- Find some time to talk to colleagues and remind them to vote;
- Print out the leaflet and poster attached to this email, and plaster the University with them; and
- Find your department’s UCU rep and do some door-knocking – let’s get out the vote!
We’re currently writing a strike ballot FAQ which will be published soon – if you have any questions email UCU@cardiff.ac.uk and we’ll add them to the list.