The personal finance newsletter for UNISON members published by Lighthouse Financial Advice – read more UNISON MoneyTalk Newsletter Autumn 2017
Many thanks to all those eligible members who participated in our pay offer consultation vote: just over 33% of you did so, which is an improvement on recent years.
The result locally was that 85% of respondents indicated that they wished to accept this year’s offer.
Our local outcome was reported to UNISON’s Higher Education Service Group executive, who discussed the results from all participating Branches and ratified members’ acceptance of the pay offer.
Overall, UNISON members voted by 71.1% to 28.9% to accept the offer.
The HE Unions have jointly reported to UCEA, the higher education employers’ organisation, that UNISON and GMB had consulted members and were accepting the offer; UNITE have rejected the offer but are consulting further before deciding on next steps; UCU was conducting an electronic ballot of members (due to end at the end of July) with a recommendation of “best that can be achieved by negotiation”; and EIS, the Scottish lecturer’s union, had conducted an initial consultation and would be consulting further over the summer.
UNISON’s head of higher education, Donna Rowe-Merriman, commented:
“Members working in universities have reluctantly accepted this year’s offer.
“Whilst higher than recent years, it still does not go far enough in compensating staff for successive years of low wage increases.
The HE service group executive has already begun work on next year’s claim and will want to mobilise support from across HE to ensure decent pay for our members in future.”
It should be noted that because not all the unions have concluded their consultation processes, it will obviously be some time yet before any pay uplifts can be applied, even assuming that each union ends up accepting the offer over the summer.
Calling all disabled staff! Do you want to discuss disability issues and influence decision-making at Sheffield Hallam?
The University is hoping to get the Staff Disability Network up and running again.
Staff networks are run by and for staff at the University. They are an opportunity to meet, share ideas and experiences, support each other, and play a more active and influential role in the decision-making processes across the University.
This is not just for Unison members – any disabled staff can join.
If you are interested in joining the network, please contact Trish in the Equality and Diversity Team on 0114 225 3499 or email email@example.com
Please (please!) fill out the 2017 Unison Equality Survey if you have ten minutes to spare. It will be really useful for Unison in working to make your workplace more equal.
It asks questions about your age, disability, gender, and other ‘protected characteristics’.
It also asks questions about whether you have ever requested to work flexibly, and what the response from your employer was. If you have anything to say about this it will be really valuable to say it here.
Sheffield Hallam UNISON Branch
Pay negotiations between the higher education trade unions (UNISON, UCU, Unite, GMB and EIS) and the employers (via their negotiating body the Universities and Colleges Employers Association, UCEA) have concluded.
The full and final offer tabled by UCEA on 27 April 2017 is a 1.7% increase on all points on the pay spine, with additional payments for those at the lower end.
This is effective from August 2017.
There are also proposals to work on the gender pay gap and to review progress around casual employment.
UNISON’s Higher Education Service Group Executive (HESGE) decided at its meeting on 4 May 2017 that this offer is the best to be achieved by negotiation, and that if members vote to reject the offer, sustained and prolonged industrial action would be required.
In line with UNISON policy, the final offer is first of all subject to a Branch consultation exercise, which will end on 3 July 2017. This Branch will therefore be putting in place arrangements to consult with members in order to report back to HESGE, and so please look out for further communications and information.
If, based on the results of this consultation, HESGE decides on a course of action including industrial action, then this would be put to members in a further, centrally conducted, ballot. In accordance with the Trade Union Act, a turnout of at least 40% would be required in order to make a vote for industrial action legally valid.
Rejection of the pay offer in an industrial action ballot would initiate a campaign of industrial action in line with UNISON rules and conference policy. UNISON would endeavour to work alongside other unions wherever possible on joint action.
Nine out of ten of us have a profile on social media, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or your own blog. It can be easy to forget that what you post on these sites can be read by other people – including your employer.
Sheffield Hallam’s social media policy states that “you should consider carefully before posting comments which could be linked to the University that could cause offence, or be viewed as contravening confidentiality”. It also warns employees not to be “inappropriately critical” of the University.
Here are some basic tips to help you avoid getting into trouble at work.
- Make sure your privacy settings are as secure as you can make it. But bear in mind that one of your contacts could take a screengrab of what you have written, so it’s important to take care with what you say.
- Be mindful of who you give access to.
- Don’t make reference to the company that you work for.
- Don’t post or allow others to post on your profile anything that could be taken as defamatory, harassing, obscene, libellous or otherwise unlawful or offensive.
- Don’t post anything that contains personal threats or insults relating to gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic, racial, religious or other protected characteristics under equality law.
- Be careful about what pictures and videos you allow to be posted of you.
Report by Tracey Holland and Lucinda Wakefield
Like all UK universities, at Sheffield Hallam we have many members of staff from across the EU.
Since the referendum last year, there has been a great deal of uncertainty for EU citizens living and working in the UK. We don’t know what the outcomes of the Brexit negotiations will be, but UNISON will continue to campaign for the right of EU citizens to remain here.
In the meantime, we have created a booklet providing practical help to UNISON members whose right to live and work in the UK is dependent on their citizenship of another EU country.
Commenting on the Spring Budget UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:
“For almost a decade nurses, teaching assistants, town hall staff and others in the public sector have had their wages frozen or been given minuscule pay rises.
“These are the people keeping the NHS, schools and local communities afloat in tough times. The pay boost for Westminster politicians should’ve signalled a decent pay rise for the rest of the public sector, especially with inflation almost double the one per cent cap.
“But without a mention from the Chancellor, public service employees will be feeling they’re the forgotten part of the ‘jam’ generation. Most are not managing at all. read the full article