On Monday 18 October the ballot opens for nationwide UCU industrial action over two disputes: USS pensions and the Four Fights (pay, pay inequality, workloads and casualisation). The ballot runs until Thursday 4 November. This post will focus on some important practical information for members. Information to help inform you about these disputes will appear on twitter (@ExeterUCU), this blog and in direct emails to members over the next few days. The Branch will also run at least one event with an external UCU speaker during the voting window (details to follow).
How do I vote? These are PAPER ballots. A single large envelope will be sent to the address listed on your UCU account, likely arriving on 19-20 October. It will look like THIS. It will contain TWO ballot papers: make sure you vote on both!
Are your details correct? Please, please, PLEASE check your personal details are correct and up-to-date. If your address is wrong, you won’t receive a ballot. You can check and update here: https://my.ucu.org.uk/.
Why the fate of YOUR paper ballot affects EVERYBODY ELSE as well: UCU want a correct address so that you can exercise your democratic rights as a member of this union. HOWEVER, if your ballot never reaches you then this also affects everyone else in the Exeter branch too. This is because the law requires us to get above 50% turnout for any vote to count. So if your ballot goes missing, it makes it harder for the Branch to reach that mark.
There is still time if something goes wrong! If your details are incorrect, or if your ballot is otherwise mislaid/eaten etc, you will be able to apply for a replacement ballot FROM 22-28 OCTOBER. So you can update your details and be ready for action at this later date. Members will be informed of how to do this.
What will the Branch Committee be doing? We will do our best to organise a Get The Vote Out operation so that we have a better chance of hitting the 50%+1 turnout target.
What can YOU do? Check your details, look out for your ballot, and VOTE. Talk to other people about the ballot and encourage them to VOTE. Contact the Branch if you would like to be involved in a Get The Vote Out campaign.
Should I vote ‘Yes’ for industrial action? That is a personal decision for each UCU member to make for themselves. The national UCU position is clear: members are being asked to vote ‘Yes’ to strike action and action short of a strike (ASOS) in both ballots. The line from our national negotiators in both disputes, and from the Higher Educaton Committee (HEC) which organises such action, is that securing a vote for industrial action is the best way to defend members’ interests in these two disputes. There will be more about the issues at stake in future updates.
EUCU Branch Committee