UNISON is balloting members in higher education in August /September, urging them to vote ‘Yes’ for strike action for better pay. The decision of the higher education service group executive was taken following a consultation with branches. The employers have so far refused to increase their 1.1% offer for the majority of staff that does not deliver the Living Wage for the lowest paid.

The average pay rise for Vice Chancellors in 2014/15 was a whopping 6.1% rising to an average of £274,405!

UNISON has called the offer deeply hypocritical – as staff are offered a miserly 1.1% to cover their rising household bills – while at the same Vice Chancellors have called for a 2.8% increase in tuition fees in England to cover University ‘costs’.

Despite low inflation, essential costs such as Council Tax, water bills, public transport and car parking have all gone up this year.

UNISON believes that an increase is affordable – money is available for a higher pay increase this year universities holding cash surpluses of nearly £21billion! And the need for our members is urgent.

The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales reported a total surplus of £60m, while the English funding body (HEFCE) reported in March 2016 a surplus of nearly £1.8 bn! Scotland Universities posted a surplus of £166m and Northern Ireland had a surplus of £27m.

UNISON believes that universities can afford to improve on their miserly offer.

Ballot opens 30 August 2016 and closes on 19 September 2016.  Ballot hotline 0800 0857 857