End of dispute
Last week members voted to accept the University’s offer and brought the dispute to a close (which will lead to every staff member having a pay rise of between 43-45p/hour). To read the branch press release, please visit this page: https://uobunison.org.uk/end-of-dispute. The decision was a difficult one – while strike action has secured a massive win and a big rise for the lowest paid, the campaign needs to go on to secure Living Wage accreditation, the end of the gender pay gap and the end of outsourcing on campus. Having costed the annual implications of the pay rise, we estimate that we have won (for all support staff, overall) more than £1.8 million pounds per year. We would not have won this without the presence of the union on campus and the strength of the collective demonstrated at all members’ meetings, on the pickets, and on the normal working day.
Since our last email we’ve received confirmation from the University that the rise will be implemented in January, and it will be backdated to the 1st of August 2019 (so as well as the increased rate in January you will receive an additional payment reflecting increased pay between August and December). Please see the attached pay spine for confirmation of what the rise will mean for you.
The branch has grown considerably because of the dispute and will continue to fight for staff pay and conditions. We are incredibly grateful for the support we’ve received from dozens of union branches and other groups. The donations we’ve received from them and individuals have enabled us to carry on until now. We remain very determined to take this win and to use it to keep fighting on.
Call for volunteers to become reps, contacts, officers
Our committee is as strong and determined as ever, and we recognise that the strikes and campaign have both attracted new members and made longstanding members reevaluate their involvement in their branch. If you’d like to be involved in the branch, in any capacity, please do let us know. Send us an email and let us know what you would like to help with/ what you would like to learn about/ what support you can give to your department or overall branch.
We need to be strategic in terms of how we use resources and membership involvement and the more we have active working groups and reps, the better we can coordinate activities and make progress. If you want to have permanent and direct input in discussions regarding the next priorities of the branch volunteer to become part of the committee or to be a rep. Even volunteering to coordinate this call for volunteers would be really valuable help. Literally any time commitment you can make to the branch is time that is well invested. It would be very helpful to also start thinking about the campaigns and claims that we want to put in next year.
Message to members, non-members and the committee – Survey
What message would you send to non-members, members, and the branch committee? How would you assess the campaign? Please submit your comments here (we would like to publish them on the website): https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MDG9MKS
Social event at the Attic in Stirchley – let us know if you can come!
To celebrate the end of the year and a successful campaign, we are planning on meeting at the Attic in Stirchley (a large pub close to the Bournville train station) on the early evening (around 5/6pm) of Friday the 6th of December. Please reply if you’d like to join us and we’ll let you know the plan.
Hotel campaign carries on
We are aware that some departments at the University are planning on holding their Christmas events at the outsourced Edgbaston Park Hotel. Please let your colleagues know that both UNISON and UCU branches on campus are boycotting the Hotel until all its staff are brought in-house at the University of Birmingham. Link to sign the boycott pledge: boycotteph.org.uk
UCU rallies – every day at 12pm
Rallies following UCU’s pickets are taking place every day at 12pm at the station – please come along to show your support! They’ve been great demonstrations of solidarity and determination so far, with hundreds of staff in attendance. You can attend the rallies in your lunch break even if you are at work this week. We expect the rallies to be even bigger later this week with some exciting speakers lined up.