AGM 2021 and latest branch newsletter

This year’s Annual General Meeting

will be held on

Wednesday 24th March, 10am-11:30am


online, using Microsoft Teams

Unison members have the right to attend this meeting in work time. Please let us know if you will have difficulty attending via teams, and we will try to find another solution.

All members attending the AGM will be entered in a free prize draw (the prizes being Love2Shop vouchers = £50 1st prize, £25 2nd and £10 3rd).


Also, our latest branch newsletter is now available – please click the link below:

UnisonNewsletter YSJ Feb 2021 

As well as covering the AGM, and roles in the branch, it also has details of free Health and Safety webinars available, as well as some of the benefits of Unison membership.

Annual General Meeting and Members’ Lunch

On Wednesday 6 March we will be holding our Annual General Meeting.

This is one of the most important dates in our branch calendar, where we elect branch officers, and can make decisions about how the branch operates for the coming year. You will also hear about next year’s pay campaign, and we hope to have a speaker from Unison Living, telling us about the benefits which come with membership.

There will be two sessions – you are welcome to attend either (or both!):

  • 9:00 am in SK/037 (Skell building)
  • 12:30 pm in DG/017 (De Grey lecture theatre)

Coming up before that, on Thursday 21 February, we will be holding a lunch for all members.

  • 12:30-13:30 in CD/001

Note that the location has changed from the one we originally publicised. CD/001 is in the Cordukes building, where the Students’ Union used to be (see the Campus Map for directions)

This will be an opportunity to learn more about your union and ask any questions you may have, and perhaps to consider becoming more involved (should you feel able to do so).

Refreshments and a light lunch of Pizza and Potato Wedges will be provided. Please contact us in advance if you have any particular dietary requirements, so we can make sure we cater for you.

Pay Campaign Report August 2018

You will have seen, and hopefully voted in, the recent pay consultation. Well, the results are in: nationally, two thirds of those who voted in the consultation, voted to reject the employers’ final offer, which fell far short of the claim that Unison put in, and also of inflation (coming after many years of real-terms pay cuts). The results locally, at York St John, were largely in line with this, with 64% voting to reject.

The result is that the Higher Education Service Group will be organising a national ballot on industrial action, which is likely to take place in either late September or October.

It is vitally important that we get a good turnout for this. Recent changes to the law mean that however many vote to reject, we won’t be able to take action if we don’t get a high-enough turnout (this has already hit a PCS pay campaign, despite an 86% vote to reject).

  • Official ballots have to be by post, to your home address, so please make sure that Unison has your correct details
  • Please speak to your colleagues, and encourage them to vote.
  • Encourage them to join Unison if they’re not already members – they can do this at

We are expecting to hear soon that universities will start paying out on their offer, following advice from UCEA, the employers’ association. They are trying to buy us off, but let’s see this as just the first instalment. We deserve so much more.

7.5% or £1,500 – because we’re worth it.

Find out more about Unison

Representatives of the Branch and also Yorkshire Regional Office will be in Holgate Reception.

Monday 15th May
11:00 am and 2:00 pm

Please pop by the stall and chat to us about UNISON and the benefits, joining the YSJ Branch and protection in the workplace.

Drop-in surgeries

York St John University UNISON Branch has arranged advice surgeries over the coming months:

  • Thursday 11th May – CD/002 11:30am -13:30pm
  • Thursday 15th June – CD/002 11:30am -13:30pm
  • Thursday 13th July – CD/002 11:30am -13:30pm

Surgeries provide opportunities for members to seek confidential advice from Branch reps and also UNISON regional staff. Non-members are welcome to drop into surgeries to find out more about UNISON.

For more information please contact YSJ UNISON branch at

Pay offer and member consultation

Higher education employers have made a pay offer of 2%, which they are calling a “full and final” offer. Although this is lower than we were hoping for, it is higher than the offers made over the last few years, showing how our campaigning and action can make a difference. See the national website for further details on the offer.

We will be holding consultation meetings on this offer during the week commencing 12 May:

  • Tuesday 13 May at 4:30 pm in room 119, De Grey Court
  • Wednesday 14 May at 8:30 am in room 222, Skell
  • Thursday 15 May at 12:00 pm in room 138, Holgate

You should also soon be receiving a voting slip on whether to accept this offer (which would also draw a line under the 2013-14 claim), or to reject it and push on with our campaign for a fairer deal for HE staff.

It is important that we reach as many members as possible. Please email us at and let us know if you, or your colleagues, are not receiving communication from the branch or information from national Unison, as we may need to update your membership details.

HE Pay Update – 2 April

Negotiations with the National HE employers – 2014/15

As reported previously, pay negotiations have started for next year’s claim. The starting point for these negotiations is that current salaries should be increased by at least the RPI rate of inflation (RPI is generally higher than CPI, which is the government’s preferred measure). Click this link for full details of the pay claim (Unison web site).

Next steps in the Pay Dispute 2013/14

UNISON’s Higher Education Service Group Executive met recently to discuss the arrangements to consult on the next steps in the unfinished dispute (as agreed by UNISON’s HE conference). Details of this consultation will be circulated to Branches shortly.

Of the other unions involved in the dispute, the main academic union UCU has announced a marking ban to start from 28 April 2014, but has no plans for further strikes. Further details on impacts for UNISON members will be distributed in April.

Members will have received a pay increase for 2013/14 as UCEA advised its University members to pay the 1% pay offer to staff in January 2014. This payment was imposed by the employers and it has not settled our dispute, as 1% was a figure rejected by members, who voted to take strike action against it.

Has the 3 day strike made a difference?

Yes.  Whilst the employers have not moved on the 1%, we have made some small gains. Since the start of the dispute a number of employers (some of whom had previously refused) have agreed to introduce the Living Wage. Bath University are the latest alongside King’s College and City University in London. UNISON branches are urged to put pressure on those universities that have not yet agreed a Living Wage. Help to progress a local campaign can be obtained from your Regional Organiser. The more members we have in your workplace, the stronger we become and more effective we will be in discussions with the employers. Potential members can join instantly by calling 0800 171 2193, join online at, or speak to your local rep.

Pay negotiations have begun for 2014-15

Although we have still not agreed a final settlement for the 2013-14 pay deal, Unison’s national negotiators have already begun talks on next year’s claim with UCEA (the University and Colleges Employers Association) alongside other HE and FE unions, holding the first meeting on 26 March. Donna Row Merriman, Unison Senior National Officer reported:

“A constructive exploration has taken place on the core components of the trade unions’ pay claim and the context for the HE employers. Our positive dialogue will continue, and we will meet again formally on 15 April 2014.”


We will keep the site updated with further news as we hear it.