UNISON’s HE pay ballot closed on 19 September and UNISON’s Higher Education Service Group Executive (HESGE) met on 20 September to consider the outcome. The ballot result was:
3,381 (54.9%) voted in favour of industrial action
2,782 (45.1%) voted against industrial action
After the meeting it issued the following statement:
“The HESGE took into account the close vote in the ballot, a disappointing turnout and the knowledge that it was likely that if UNISON did take strike action it would not be with all other unions (due to notable differences in positions and timetables). Joint union action has been key to previous successful action.
Taking this into account it was reluctantly agreed that UNISON would not take industrial action on this occasion. The HESGE felt that the ballot results and views from regions meant that the union could not deliver a sufficiently strong strike to force the employers to improve their derisory pay offer.
UNISON is committed to national pay bargaining and will continue to campaign to improve members pay, terms and conditions in higher education. Further discussions will take place at UNISON’s forthcoming HE branch seminar, which will also focus on the need to build membership and engage members in future industrial action ballots.”
We recognise that many members will be disappointed by this outcome given that the Branch voted by a clear majority in a consultative ballot to support industrial action. However, given the direction issued by the HESGE, we regret to say that we are not able to proceed to industrial action.