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Fair pay for higher education | Vote YES

3% is an insult. It’s a massive pay cut.

Strike ballots at a number of universities and higher education institutions across Scotland, England are open or opening soon. It's time to stand united against UCEA's pitiful 3% pay offer for 2022/23 which has since been imposed. 

Check your post and vote YES to strike for a proper pay rise – a cost of living pay rise.

Your ballot paper will be posted to your home address. Please vote and return your ballot paper straightaway. Remember, an unreturned ballot counts as a no vote.

Is your institution being balloted? Not every institution where Unite has members is being balloted for strike action. We left that decision to branches, following the consultative ballot, and consideration of local circumstances. Check back regularly to see if you’re institution is being balloted and when.

Our strike ballots:

  • Scotland: 03/10/22 - 21/10/22 
    2,000 members at 11 universities: Aberdeen, Abetay, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow School of Art, Herriot Watt, Napier, St Andrews and Strathclyde universities.
  • Imperial College London: 20/09/22 - 13/10/22 Download the poster!
  • Cardiff University: 03/10/22-11/11/22
  • London and Eastern : 06/10/22-02/11/22 
    Kings College, Royal College of Art, Royal Holloway College, University of Essex.
  • Leeds University: 11/10/22-3/11/22
  • Southampton University: 4/10/22-28/10/22
  • Newcastle University: 6/10/22-2/11/22
  • University of East Anglia: 10/10/22-2/11/22
  • UCL: 18/11/22 - 07/11/22
  • Queens University Belfast and Ulster University: 25/10/22-18/11/22
  • City, University of London: 21/10/22 - 22/11/22

If you are a Unite member working in one of the institutions being balloted and have not received your ballot five days after your ballot opens, please get in touch to request a replacement.

In England and Wales: email [email protected]

In Scotland: contact your regional office.
Glasgow: 0141 404 5424
Edinburgh: 0131 556 9676
Aberdeen: 01224 645 271
Dundee: 01382 227 369 

Your union, Unite is recommending you vote YES to strike for the fair pay rise you deserve.

10 reasons to vote YES for strike action!

  • You and your colleagues have suffered over a decade of below inflation pay rises. With the country now experiencing the worse cost of living crisis in a generation, it’s time to take a stand.

  • Prices are rocketing. Even with energy bills capped at £2,500 for the next two winters, bills will still be rising by 21% from 1 October. Food and petrol costs are also soaring amid runaway inflation.

  • Everything’s going up but your wages. The real offer to higher education workers is just 3%. With real inflation (RPI) at 12.3%, this is a massive national pay cut.

  • The truth is your pay is worth less– higher education staff have suffered real terms wage cuts of around 19.7% since 2010, due to wage freezes and below inflation pay rises.

  • 9% is not real - the offer is tapered so it is higher (up to 9%) at the lowest end of the pay spine.  But this is only because HE institutions are obliged by law to implement the increase in the National Minimum wage.

  • You’ve earned it - You and your colleagues worked harder than ever during the worst pandemic in 100 years to keep students and staff safe and secure. The fact that student enrolment is returning to record levels so quickly is down to your commitment, dedication, flexibility and adaptability.

  • We’re in this together - all other higher education unions, UCU, Unison, GMB and EIS, have vowed to ballot or consult members too – paving the way for joint industrial action in your institutions. It’s what we’ll be calling for.

  • Your employers can afford it – on the one hand UCEA admits the cost of living crisis is ‘worsening for staff’, but then wants you to take a pay cut. It’s just not good enough.

  • Your YES vote will put pressure on UCEA to come back to national negotiations with a better pay offer. Unite is open to more talks.

  • You deserve better. With the costs of everything from food, fuel and energy going up, we can’t afford anything less than an inflation-busting pay rise. Vote for it today.

Soaring costs – shrinking pay

Amidst the worst cost of living crisis in a generation, UCEA's imposed pay increase of just 3% for the majority of higher education staff is an insult. And totally unacceptable, especially as during negotiations UCEA admitted things were 'worsening' for you . It's no good to admit it, and do nothing about it. 

With RPI inflation at 12.3%, and your pay only rising by 3%, this is a massive pay cut. And falls far short of the RPI inflation + 2% that Unite and the HE unions called for throughout negotiations.

You and your higher education colleagues have suffered with poverty pay for long enough. Over a decade of below inflation pay rises, and pay freezes has seen the real value of your wages shrink by 19.7%.

Let's stand united - our sister unions, UCU, Unison and EIS are also balloting their members. Their strike ballots are already open or opening soon - paving the way for joint industrial action in your institution. 

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