Branch Newsletter – July 2021

Teesside University Branch News Letter – July 2021

Pay Update 2021

Last August, higher education staff did not get a pay rise. UNISON, and the other HE trade unions, pushed hard for a pay rise back then and have pushed hard for pay rise for August 2021.

HE staff have been offered a 1.5% increase for the majority of staff from 1st August 2021. Those on the lower pay points 3 to 21 have been offered increases on a sliding scaled between 3.6% to 1.54%.

In May and June, we asked our members whether they wished to accept the pay offer or reject it and move to a vote for strike action. The majority of members rejected the offer.

The HE SGE made two decisions in relation to the August 2021 pay offer:

  1. To lodge a national dispute with the HE employers, UCEA. There will now be two dispute meetings to seek an improved offer. UNISON will be participating in this process alongside our sister unions, UCU and Unite. This process will conclude on 23 July.
  2. To ask all branches that are NOT balloting on the pay freeze from 2020, to move to ballot for strike action on the August 2021 pay offer.

The Branch took a decision not to hold a disaggregate industrial action ballot formembers for the 2020 Pay Freeze. This decision was taken because:

  1. The 2020 consultation for our branch resulted in a turnout below 50%, which is the legal requirement for industrial action even though there was a majority to reject the offer.
  2. Due to the change from aggregate balloting (national ballot with the outcome based on national action) to disaggregate balloting (branch ballot with the outcome based on individual branch action) agreed at the last Higher Education Conference we would be the only branch in the Northern Region balloted for strike action. This could have resulted in our members being the only ones asked to strike and lose pay out of the 5 universities in the region. In addition, we would probably the only Higher Education trade union in the region to be asked to take action. The branch executive felt this would not be a fair position to put our members in.

The latest branch consultation for the 2021 pay offer resulted in a 40% accept and 60% reject result. However, the turnout was again below 50%.

The branch executive will meet again in the next few weeks to decide if the branch should be included in the industrial action ballot for 2021 based on the branch consultation results and the decisions of the other universities within the Northern Region. We will keep you updated on this matter. If you have any queries, please
contact UNISON@tees.ac.uk

Annual Leave

If you, like many people, have a massive amount of leave to take before the end of August, please don’t forget that you can carry forward for this year only 10 days (74 hours), or which is pro rata if you’re part time.

Make sure you take the holidays you’re entitled to and, if possible, try and take as much as you can of your annual leave in this year. However, the 10 days can be taken at any point in the new annual leave year. As always, holidays need to be agreed by your line manager.

Agile/Hybrid Working

All members will have now seen the University Update regarding this.

If any members have not received details of agile/hybrid working within the next few weeks from their management, please let the branch know.

If you have any further queries, please contact the branch.

Recruit a Colleague Scheme

If you know any of your colleagues who are not members of the branch, please discuss with them about joining. As you know we are an active branch working hard to support our members individually and collectively when times get tough.

Tell your non-union colleagues they will be joining hundreds of branch members benefiting from our support. Membership is not expensive and is adjusted to reflect their income level and there are many added benefits to membership.

For example, free wills, discounted
deals on insurance, health offers, shopping discounts and much more.

REMEMBER you, as the recruiter, will receive a £20 Love to Shop voucher immediately for recruiting and your colleague will receive one too after 3 months membership.

Help grow your branch, together we are stronger. To find out more email
m.sawdon@tees.ac.uk.

Green Unison

During the hottest week of the year the environment was at the forefront of debate at UNISON’ Special Virtual National Delegate Conference held in June.

Delegates were in agreement that any real recovery from the pandemic must involve the creation of a green and sustainable economy – one that includes public service workers at its heart.

All eyes are now on the United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP26), in Glasgow in November 2021.

Our union will be mobilising members for a significant engagement at the talks, to ensure the needs of workers and public services are central to the results.

COVID Vaccination – Important Announcement

Just to let our members know that UNISON together with our sister trade unions and the employers

  • support the current roll out of Covid-19 vaccines across the UK
  • will work together to encourage uptake of vaccination across the sector
  • encourage all Higher Education (HE) staff to get vaccinated when offered the opportunity through the NHS

Hope this helps but please contact the branch if you have any queries

Membership Details

It is important that your membership details are up to date. please contact the branch if you have moved address, changed your name, email address or telephone number.

Your correct address is particularly important as some information can only be sent to you by post.

Email m.sawdon@tees.ac.uk or unison@tees.ac.uk