The UCU Rising ballot opened with a bang yesterday

At the Brighton ballot launch we had speakers from other trade unions including CWU, Acorn, GMB and Brighton and Hove Trades Council as well as our own UNISON branch from the University of Brighton. Every speaker shared the same message: Enough Is Enough. Across the country we are seeing other trade unions fight back against greed and inequality. We now have the chance to join this rising tide of action against the cost of living crisis.

collage of people speaking at rally with pink UCU flags in background.

This Ballot is Different

UCU Rising is different from recent disputes. Firstly it is set against the backdrop of serious economic crisis in which HE staff and students face the terrifying prospect of not being able to pay the bills. Secondly, it is a nationally aggregated ballot, meaning that every UCU branch in the country is voting together to take action together. Finally, the UCU’s General Secretary and head office are leading the campaign from the front much more than in recent disputes.

This was obvious at last night’s launch event. We heard messages of support from Mick Lynch of the RMT, Dave Ward of the CWU and Frances O’Grady of the TUC. We saw thousands of members across the country pledge “I’m Voting Yes”.

Your ‘Yes’ vote is essential. We need to show the bosses locally and nationally that we will not be treated this poorly any longer. With pay down 25% we really cannot afford to do nothing. Our local UNISON branch have just won an outstanding 82% ‘Yes’ vote for strike action. We need a similar majority for action on a massive turnout to make it crystal clear to HE employers that we are prepared to fight for a fair offer on pay, anti-casualisation, equalities and workloads.

Joint action

Once we have won a mandate we expect to be coordinating our action with other trade unionists. But we don’t have to wait until then to show solidarity with striking postal workers. The CWU welcomes supporters to its picket lines which start at 7am tomorrow and Friday, and have called a solidarity demonstration at 10am on Friday from the North Road delivery office. Join us there.

How to Vote

Your ballot paper will arrive today or soon after in an envelope like this:

white envelope with UCU and Civica CES logos

Put a cross in the ‘Yes’ boxes, put your ballot paper in the pre-paid envelope and put your ballot in the post.

Tell us you have voted

Every branch needs at least 50% of its members to vote, a legal requirement under the Tory anti-union laws. We get no information from the company that runs the ballot so we have to keep our own running tally of who has voted. The quickest way to let us know you have posted your ballot paper is to fill this form

From next week, our Get The Vote Out teams will start to contact people who have not yet told us they have posted the ballot.

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