Academic union votes to reject bargaining changes

Rejection reflects concerns over UCU members’ ability to take effective action during disputes

February 29, 2008

Members of the University and College Union have voted 60:40 to reject proposed changes to pay bargaining machinery.

Only per cent of the University and College Union membership voted in the ballot on reforms.

The main concern for union members was the restriction that a new timetable for pay talks would place upon UCU's ability to take industrial action prior to or during exams.

The proposals were also seen by some members as threatening the UCU's ability to lead negotiations on issues of specific interest to academic and related staff, as the academic union would join non-academic unions around a single bargaining table under the reforms.

At a UCU Higher Education Committee meeting today, union members called for talks with employers to re-start as a matter of urgency.

The Universities and Colleges Employers Association said prior to the ballot that no further negotiations would take place.

UCEA said that the reforms had been agreed by the Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff, which includes UCU members, as the best that could be achieved by negotiation.

See opinion on this story by Sally Hunt in the related articles link

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