Many of us will get paid today in the University of Leeds. You’ll notice the amount you get paid is a little higher than usual. But just a little. The increase represents six months back pay for a 0.4% increase backdated to the beginning of the academic year. Yes, six months of additional pay amounts to that small extra sum in your pay packet. Next month you’ll see the real impact of that 0.4% pay increase – that is to say, you’ll see that it is insignificant when faced with inflation of ten times as much.
To add insult to injury, your employer – The University of Leeds – has unilaterally broken away from its commitment to national pay bargaining by deciding to implement an un-agreed pay increase (a pay-cut in real terms) at this stage. UCU remains committed to national bargaining as the most efficient way to agree pay and conditions. Your employer, it would seem, does not.
Some might say that the decision to add the back-pay in as one lump sum at this stage is deliberately timed to coincide with the local and national ballots; a quick injection of a temporary boost in salary to undermine the union’s arguments. But anyone who has recently filled their petrol tank, sought child-care or done the weekly shopping will know that even six month’s worth of pay ‘increase’ at one go is still not enough to allow income to keep up with inflation.
Vote ‘yes’ and ‘yes’ in the national ballot to protect pay and job security. What your union is demanding is reasonable, and already exists in other sectors.
Click here to read our previous post on the national ballot.