Monthly Update – May 2022

May 2022 – Summary

  • HE Pay Consultative ballot – Outcome
  • Two breakfast drop-ins & Stall in Holgate
  • 6 new members
  • More than 50 hours spent on union activity
  • Direct advice, individual representation & support provided to a number of branch members

I’ll start off with the most important update, which is to say that the branch committee met earlier this morning (7 June) and voted to opt out of the industrial action ballot over pay. Of the members who participated in the consultative ballot, there was an overwhelming majority who felt the pay offer was unacceptable, but in the end the response rate was below what we felt was needed to run a successful industrial action ballot. This was the main reason for the committee voting to opt out.

Some members might feel strongly that we should have included the branch in the industrial action ballot, based on how deeply the cost-of-living crisis is being felt across our membership. We did though very much feel this was the best course of action for the branch at this time. If any members would like to have a more detailed conversation with me about this decision, I would be very welcome to arrange some time to speak with any of you.

I’m delighted that our recruitment activity throughout May went down so well. Both of our breakfast drop-ins were incredibly well attended, and it was really wonderful to have some time to catch up properly with so many of our new and existing members, as well as have some great conversations with prospective members who came to find out more. Thank you to everyone who came down! We hope our stall in Holgate also helped to raise our profile on campus in the two weeks it was there. We’re really pleased to have welcome 6 new members to our Unison branch since the start of May.

Branch Officers spent a total of 51.75 hours on Union activity throughout May, mostly on training (17 hours – mostly Billy on a two day Branch Secretary training course), meeting members (9.5 hours – mostly as part of our breakfast drop-ins and Holgate stall) and branch administration (8.5 hours – mostly planning for recruitment activity and cleansing membership records for the consultative ballot) I’m very happy to provide a more detailed breakdown of how we have spent our time to any members who would like that.

We’ve also represented the branch and its membership at a number of formal meetings and processes throughout May, including through the Staff Joint Consultative Committee, Regional Higher Education Service Group, and several HERA panels.

I think that covers the key points from May. As always if anyone would like to find out about getting more involved or would just like a chat to catch up about the branch, do not hesitate to get in touch!

Best wishes


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