Report from GUCU meeting on the ballot – VOTE YES!

A well attended general meeting of Goldsmiths UCU on 13 May passed the following motion:

‘Following a detailed discussion and clarification of the ballot and the issues at stake, this meeting resolves to urge all members to vote YES on both counts.’

The meeting also called for a short statement to be circulated to members outlining the key arguments underlying the ballot.

Why should you vote YES?

• Because two-thirds of HE institutions are facing serious cuts and redundancies often as a result of ‘restructuring’ and not necessarily of financial deficit. The employers are exploiting the economic downturn to justify job losses and have done nothing to alleviate these threats.

• Because the union – in conjunction with ALL the other HE unions including the NUS – is asking UCEA to produce an agreement that allows both employers and unions to work together to minimize the threat of compulsory redundancies. The UCU is NOT seeking a guarantee of no redundancies across the HE sector but a national agreement that would allow all sides to commit to procedures that look at alternatives to redundancy and that protect jobs and educational provision.

• Because a strong vote from the membership at this time would encourage UCEA to negotiate seriously over the coming months; a low turn-out or a No vote weakens UCU’s position now and in the future.

• Because it would allow us to launch a campaign on a timescale of our own choosing and to work with the other HE unions wherever possible.

• Because the ballot, despite the propaganda from the employers, is not about an 8% pay demand. It is true that we have been offered a 0.3% increase which amounts to a pay cut. But the employers are trying to trade jobs for pay and a positive vote in the ballot would help defend both.

• Because a No vote would signal to the employers that UCU members accept the need for redundancies and cuts that will devastate not just our members but the whole prospect of well-resourced higher education.

DEADLINE FOR VOTING IS 12 NOON, FRIDAY 22 MAY.

IF YOU HAVEN’T RECEIVED YOUR BALLOT PAPER YET, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ucu.org.uk/heballot09 AND CLICK ON GOLDSMITHS

Des Freedman
President Goldsmiths UCU
Goldsmiths, University of London
New Cross
London SE14 6NW

13th May 2009