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Cambridge UCU Optimistic on Ballot Turnout

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The national University and College Union (UCU) has announced that 70,000 of its members across 143 UK universities are being balloted for strike action and will result in campaigning among Cambridge UCU members.

Staff are balloting over pay, the gender pay gap, increasing casualisation of employment and workload.

Last May negotiations between employers and employees resulted in a 2% pay rise offered by the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA).

UCU argues the offer fails to address the falling value of staff pay in higher education, which is estimated to have declined by 21% since 2009.

The previous ballot last October fell short of the required turnout in by 26 votes.

Cambridge UCU President, Dr Sam James, suggested last October's turnout was created by unhelpful timing, when many staff were away.

However, he is optimistic about this term's ballot, adding: "We believe it will be possible in this ballot to replicate the result achieved in October while increasing turnout sufficiently to meet the 50% threshold".

"We are optimistic that a more extended campaign, in term, to get the vote out between now and the closure of the ballot on February 22nd will ensure that this time it is how UCU members vote, and not merely whether enough of them vote, that will determine the outcome."

Strikes last year resulted in 40,000 members across 64 higher education providers walking out for 14 days.