We’ve already had support from MPs about our dispute with the University – MPs have tweeted publicly in support and we know others have been in touch with them.
We’d like to continue this, and we know that MPs take account of the issues that are important to their constituents. As such we’d like to ask all of our members and supporters to write to your local MP about our dispute with the University, to ask them to use their voice to support us.
We’ve provided a template letter below which you may wish to tweak and use for your letter.
You can find out how to write to your MP by using Parliament’s Find your MP service. We’d suggest writing by email to get your message to them as quickly as possible ahead of our next strike days.
Our draft letter
Name and Address
I am writing to you as my Member of Parliament to ask you to take action, to use your voice and to support me and other members in your constituency who are employed by the University of Birmingham.
I have worked for the University for XXXX. [INSERT PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES/DELETE AS YOU WISH]
My colleagues and I feel that we have had no choice but to embark on industrial action. This is not a decision we have taken lightly. Long-standing negotiations (since 2021) to reform the support staff pay spine and bring staff up to the correct market rates of pay for their jobs, have been used as a vehicle by the University to force unwelcome terms and conditions changes. Further to this, the University has written to staff members individually to offer them new contracts, implementing these terms changes with a financial incentive of a one-off payment, clearly undermining our collective bargaining rights.
Members of support staff represent the lowest-paid employees at the university; cleaners, catering staff, security, estates, student support, and librarians to name just a few. These staff members work incredibly hard to keep the University running and provide the sturdy foundation upon which its reputation for excellence is built. Unfortunately, those foundations are crumbling. Following a long-term lack of investment from our employer, more staff are moving on for better-paid positions with better terms and conditions, leaving those who remain overworked and many who are in work are turning to food banks to stretch their eroded pay packets.
I am asking you to call on the University to be a responsible employer, to uphold their civic duty, to pay staff what they are worth and to respect their rights to bargain for their own working conditions. All we want is a chance to negotiate a fair settlement of this matter, but the University is refusing to talk. The disruption to the services we provide and the unavoidable impact this has on students is regrettable but unavoidable because of this. Sadly, this seems likely to persist for months to come. Your prompt intervention could help us bring this divisive dispute to a close, by showing the University that their refusal to talk is becoming more broadly known across the local area.
I look forward to hearing from you on this vital matter.