Friday, July 04, 2008

Further Education pay offer

I am indebted to the activists from among UNISON’s Further Education membership who have drawn to my attention the consultation exercise which is now underway in relation to the miserable pay offer for our members in that sector.

The employers have made a poor offer which is slightly less poor than the offer against which we are taking strike action in local government.

We are to embark upon a consultation ballot of our members in further education over the summer holidays (when many will be away from the workplace and the opportunity for collective discussion) on the basis that this is the best that can be obtained by negotiation (which I am sure it is).

Full marks to our negotiators for achieving the best that can be achieved by negotiation.

Mind you I cannot remember ever having been consulted on a negotiated offer which was not thought, at the time of the consultation, to be the best that could be achieved by negotiation.

Our sister union UCU has agreed to convene a Conference to consider the offer. This at least allows for collective decision-making in line with the best traditions of our movement.

Of course I respect the decision of the National Further Education Committee. They have decided that there shall be an individual ballot of our members.

UNISON Conference has very recently reaffirmed the right of Regions and Branches to make and campaign for recommendations in pay ballots.

I also respect the right of Regions and Branches to get out there and campaign for rejection of this lousy pay offer.

A great trade unionist once told me something he was told by his father - that if you fight you may not win, but if you don’t fight you certainly won’t win.

There is more money to be had by public sector workers, in further education as in local government and health. Whether we get it depends upon what we do, how well organised we are and how we are led.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Having received a UNISON bulletin from Mabledon Towers that told us the offer in my employer - which is 2% for many of our union members - is the best available by negotiation (fair comment) and that we can't ask for any more money "as it just isn't there", your comment re leadership is key.
My Sector is undergoing a consultative ballot on the basis of this statement from a national Officer. To says it's been taken as defeatist is an understatement.... Prices are rocketing - and UNISON tells me not to ask for more money than 2%? Something wrong somewhere....