UCU Ulster members meet to discuss proposed industrial action
UCU Ulster members will meet to discuss the union’s position on the proposed industrial action over pay; UCU resistance to any further privatisation of services at Ulster; and concerns about travelling expenses.
The meetings are scheduled for:
Jordanstown: Friday 20th Sept 1.30pm Room 04F03
Coleraine: Monday 23rd Sept 1.15 Room J602
Magee: Tuesday 24th Sept 1.15 Senior Common Room
Staff in higher education have not received a meaningful pay increase since October 2008. Since 2009, they have suffered four consecutive years of pay cuts and seen our pay drop by 13% in real terms. Overall staff costs in higher education as a proportion of income have fallen from 58% in 2001/02, to 55.5% in 2011/12, although a minority at the top have enjoyed generous increases in pay. UCU is to start balloting next week on whether we want to have industrial action short of strike.
Also on the agenda is the ongoing privatisation and axing of services. The current move to privatise most ISD services has begun, threatening to cut jobs and reducing the service to staff and students. For instance, the outsourcing of the helpdesk would mean there would be no one on campus to come and help lecturers when equipment in lecture theatres doesn’t work.
On travelling expenses, penny-pinching by management has seen forced campus relocation of many staff that seems to be more about saving on travelling expenses than anything else, while the rules on what mileage staff can claim (e.g. subtracting our daily commute from any claim) means an effective cut in salary of £5,000 a year for many.