Inimical ballot (2 of 2)

February 2, 2012

Jane Hardy claims to write in a personal capacity ("Pension protection", Letters, 26 January), yet she is standing at the forthcoming UCU national executive committee elections as a member of the Socialist Workers Party-dominated UCU Left. "We urge", she says. Who's "we"? Can she or UCU Left explain how the NEC's unanimous decision in December to hold a ballot on the new TPS offer came to be reversed on a split vote in January?

If the divided NEC wishes to order academics out on a further series of strikes, it must have the backing of a convincing majority of members in a ballot. There have been not one but two significantly improved offers since the first ballot vote, while several unions have decided to settle, and the USS dispute appears to be nearing resolution.

I have supported every academic industrial action for 20 years, usually from the picket line, but I will not take part in further strikes on this issue without a national ballot - and especially not at the urging of people who call for unity while seeking to conceal their own factional allegiance.

Robert Poole, UCU member, University of Cumbria

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