Academic workers in Higher Education will take part in three separate ballots as their union, the University and College Union (UCU), moves into action against the effects of enormous government cuts.
One ballot is over job security; UCU estimates that 40,000 jobs might be at risk due to an 80% government cut in the HE teaching budget. For the second year running, HE sector employers have refused to negotiate over providing a framework for job security. The second ballot, which involves UCU members in pre-1992 universities, is against bosses’ attempts to downgrade the Universities Superannuation Scheme (the staff pension scheme). The third ballot focuses on similar attacks to the pension schemes of workers in post-92 universities. The first two ballots close on Wednesday 2 March, with the third closing on Monday 14 March.
In a statement to members, UCU said “for two years, we have tried to pursue this through negotiation without any success. The employers have chosen the path of confronting the unions, hoping that they can break us in the long term.
“That means we have to ballot you for action.”
• More info: tinyurl.com/ucuballot