Inflation surges – this is getting ridiculous

Inflation today reached 8.2% (on the RPI figure which is more realistic than the 6.2% CPI figure). The highest level of inflation for 30 years means a real-terms pay cut for HE staff of at least 6.7% this year alone, more if inflation continues to rise as expected.

The small reduction in petrol duty just announced by Rishi Sunak is a drop in the ocean compared to that. The promise of a 1p income tax cut in 2024 is irrelevant to the loss in pay we are suffering this year.

This year’s slash in the value of our pay comes on top of 12 straight years of pay erosion which had already cut the value of our pay by at least 20%. If you like graphs, try this one showing what has happened to the value of points 37-43 on the salary scale (top of Lecturer, bottom of Senior Lecturer grades):


What about our gas bills, Vice Chancellor?

The erosion of our pay is now unbearable. But if you were expecting understanding from the Vice Chancellor, think again. Speaking to MPs, Debra Humphris confirmed what we have long suspected: that university bosses view staffing costs as another inconvenient overhead alongside their other outgoings. In Debra Humphris’s case, staff pay ranks as less important than the university’s gas bill.

Strike next week

It is clearer than ever that we cannot afford not to strike. We are out all five days next week with the second batch of branches nationally. The first batch have been out all this week.

Look out for details of pickets on your campus from your local branch and sign up for picket duty.

There will be digital online pickets every day linking branches in different parts of the country for those who can’t make it in person.

Our Unison colleagues will be on strike with us on Friday 1st April and we will hold a solidarity rally with other trade unions that day at 10.30am at Grand Parade.


Vote in the reballot

You should have received your ballot paper for the Four Fights reballot. Our existing mandate for action runs out soon so need to extend it. If we are to hit our employers with a marking & assessment boycott next term, we need to win another ballot with a turnout of over 50%.

We will need the option of strike action as well, so please vote Yes and Yes and return your ballot paper in the post as soon as possible. Inform us when you have done so by email or using this link.

If you have not received your ballot paper, use this link to request a ballot replacement.

Remember that a new ballot mandate also strengthens our bargaining position locally, helping us to fend off attacks such as the threatened 14% cut in pay for PGRs who teach.

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