UNISON and the Campus Trade Unions are in dispute with the University about the future of language provision, and the future of the Department of Archaeology. We have also raised concerns about governance processes.
Rob Hemus, Branch Chair of UNISON, and Maureen Howard, as both UNISON Assistant Branch Secretary, and JUCC Staffside Vice-Chair, with support from UNISON Regional Official, Neelam Bhambra, are leading the dispute for UNISON, alongside our sister Unions.
You may have heard that UCU and Unite, have done “indicative ballots” of their members – indicative ballots have no legal standing in terms of members taking action. Indicative ballots are often done to gauge the strength of feeling of members, and can be a useful tool when discussing matters with management. UNISON have been advising our members of the matters and concerns in Archaeology and in SLC and language provisions, at members meetings, and in briefings, and we have been taking your feedback, and the feedback from our members in the affected departments. UNISON has always ensured we have exhausted all other methods of consultation, negotiation, bargaining, persuasion – and that we have followed all the legally required internal processes, before we ballot – whether indicative or formal ballot.
Depending on the outcome of the dispute, we may need to do an indicative ballot to gain a mandate from our members, about any action, including balloting for industrial action. As it stands the dispute would need to be more focussed, and meet with our terms of our recognition agreement of industrial relations, and other legal requirements, for it to be deemed a ” legitimate trade dispute” that we can have a formal ballot on. So any formal ballot would need careful wording. It can get a bit complex and intricate meeting all the legalities, but rest assured UNISON will follow proper process.
UNISON will be organising a meeting in August with members to discuss the outcomes of negotiations. While we would like it if this was an update on agreeable outcomes of dispute, if this is sadly not the case, it will be about how we as a branch and a membership collectively progress to any other options available.