Your ballot paper should have arrived this week. Employers short-change you on one and ignore the other three. Vote YES to make a difference.

You should have received your ballot paper (sent to your preferred address). The ballot is to decide if we will take industrial action over the 2018 annual pay negotiations.

Your union’s claim on your behalf addresses four key problems with pay and conditions at our higher education institutions.

Failure to address workload issues

Institutions take too little effort to understand what work they are allocating to staff, how evenly it is spread, whether or not it is fair and equitable. Work and expectations are increasing — lecturers are teaching more students, researchers are expected to produce more and higher quality research and raise more grant income, professional services colleagues are expected to support all of this with in less time (and without any improved systems).

Your union is demanding a national framework to force the institutions’ to address workload systematically.

Failure to address the systematic increase in casualisation across sector

Too many of our colleagues are trying to survive on short term contracts, often more than one, and often for years and years. The sector has failed to implement processes that provide greater stability and security for these colleagues.

Your union is demanding national frameworks to address casualisation.

Failure to address inequality

Young academics and administrators at universities are amazingly diverse. This diversity disappears the further up the institutional hierarchy you look (examine QMSE membership for an example). Worse, not only do women and ethnic minority colleagues not fill senior roles in the proportions they deserve, at every level they are paid less than their white, male counterparts.

Your union is demanding a national agreement to address gender inequality.

Failure to ensure pay keeps up with inflation

The ‘rate for the job’ in real terms has been falling for years. This means that every year what you can buy with your income falls. Keeping up with inflation requires you to be promoted as soon as you hit the top of your salary band. If you want to maintain your real pay, you cannot be content to do your job, you must constantly angle to be promoted. This is detrimental to organisational culture and to individuals.

Your union has demanded an annual pay adjustment that keeps up with last year’s inflation and makes up for previous years’ losses.

Each one of these issues affects every employee — either directly or indirectly because of the deleterious effects on immediate colleagues.

Industrial action works

Your willingness to take industrial action forced employers to change their tune on your pension. We need the credible threat of industrial action to force employers to seriously address these four issues.

Find your ballot paper and vote today.

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