TRAINING COURSES FOR YOUNG MEMBERS

The Yorkshire & Humberside Regional Young Members’ Forum are hosting three training workshops for young members.

Saturday 3 May 2014 – Introduction to media skills and organising

Find out more about how to use the internet, social networking and the press and broadcast media for the benefit of UNISON members.

Saturday 30 August 2014 – Campaigning skills

Campaigning can help persuade people to take a particular course of action or change their attitudes or opinions. Find out what skills are needed to achieve this.

Saturday 13 December 2014 – A beginners guide to UNISON

Find out how UNISON is structured and how members influence policy and decisions. Also find out about the work that UNISON does to achieve our objectives.

Training will be held at UNISON Regional Office in Leeds. The workshop costs £12.50 (payable by the Branch).  Training starts at 1.30pm – 3.30pm (lunch will be provided from 1pm).

Read the RYMF Bulletin March 2014 final

UNIVERSITIES MARCH TOGETHER

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After an early start on picket lines hundreds of staff from both universities joined forces  to march around the city centre to protest about pay. Students demonstrated their solidarity by marching with university staff.

The rally made its way to Barkers Pool at midday where speakers, including Simon Renton, national president of UCU,  and Hallam UNISON Branch Secretary Dan Bye, addressed the large gathering to outline the reasons for the protest.

Police officers with the rally approximated 300 to 400 strikers were active.

TIME TO VOTE ON HIGHER EDUCATION PAY

UNISON’s members in higher education are being balloted for industrial action over the employer’s final pay offer of 1% across all pay points.

The vote opened on 18 September, with ballot papers being sent to members’ homes.

The national higher education service group executive is urging a vote for strike action, demanding an improved offer from the employers.

The pay claim is affordable, and the need to address the loss of income over the last five years for those in the sector is urgent. Living costs have increased by over 15% over the past five years. In that same period, pay increases for most staff have been worth around 2.2%.

This represents a shortfall in pay of around 13% for higher education staff. For someone on point 16 of the pay scale, this would represent a loss of over £1,600 per year.

Over 4,000 workers in the sector are paid less than the living wage of £7.45 per hour (£8.55 in London). This means their income is below that needed for a basic standard of living.

The money is available for an improved offer. The Higher Education Funding Council for England, which funds higher education, produced a report in March, showing that the sector posted record surpluses of over £1 billion.

Members need to use their vote in the ballot.

UNISON is officially urging members to vote for industrial action, sending a clear message to their employers that they are worth more than 1%.

Up-to-date information on the ballot can be found on the higher education pay pages

UNISON BALLOT PAPERS

From 18th September 2013 UNISON ballot papers will be sent to members’ home addresses by the Electoral Reform Society.

Members who do not receive their ballot papers within a week of 18th September can call 0845 355 0845 between 24th September and 12 noon 4th October. UNISONdirect agents will be able to take your details and arrange for a ballot paper to be sent to you (this will take 3 working days to reach you).

The UNISON ballot will close at 5pm on 8th October 2013.

UNISON’s Higher Education Service Group is campaigning nationally for a ‘YES’ vote from members, raising just some of the following points:-

•   UNISON’s higher education members are facing a fifth year of pay awards below the cost of living;

•  real-terms pay has been cut 13%;

•  student numbers are up and cash surpluses in the sector are over £1bn;

•  the English higher education funding body (HEFCE) reported in March 2013 that financial results are stronger than those previously projected in June 2012 despite a fall in public funding;

•  the median pay package of the highest paid staff in the sector is £242,000.

Please contact your local steward or the branch if you have any questions.

Of the other Higher Education trade unions, UCU and UNITE also rejected the employers’ 1% pay offer and began consulting their members on the final offer with a recommendation to reject.  We have no information at the moment about their next steps.

The branch has received information that the UNISON HE Pay Campaign is now under way and information for members can be found via the following link:

http://www.unison.org.uk/at-work/education-services/key-issues/higher-education-pay-ballot-2013/home/

There is also information on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/UNISONinHigherEducation?ref=hl