Wednesday, 8 April 2009

IOU - please support your union

Dear colleague,

We are writing to you to ask you to support your union.

The IOU campaign is the union’s campaign to ensure that you receive the pay to which you are entitled. Four years ago, we signed a national deal that brought with it substantial pay rises for lecturing staff. Unfortunately, your college is one of a group who refused to honour this agreement.

We think this is unfair. At a time when politicians are talking about the importance of investing in skills and training to support our communities through the recession, it’s unacceptable that colleges such as yours are trying to get their teaching on the cheap.

Your local branch officers have tried talking to the college about this but in spite of our best efforts, for four years, the college has refused to negotiate meaningfully. That means that we need to show them we are serious and that’s why from 28 April, we will be balloting you for industrial action.

Your college will be one of at least four who have been targeted by UCU as the next phase of our highly successful campaign to persuade colleges to honour national agreements.

We can win. If you support your union in this ballot, together we can ensure that you get the money you are owed. Over the last six months, UCU has targeted 18 other colleges who had not implemented the 2004 pay agreement and all but a handful of these colleges are now in talks about implementing the pay increases.

Our hope is that industrial action will not prove necessary. We have written to the management of your college asking for talks. But the lesson of the other 18 colleges shows that we must be ready to send a clear message that we are serious. See:

So please be ready to support UCU should a ballot prove necessary. In the meantime, the best thing you can do to help the campaign is to make sure your colleagues have seen this message and to urge those who are not yet members to join the union and help us win pay justice. Please pass on this link to join online:

Yours sincerely

Barry Lovejoy, National Head of Further Education
Jonathan White, Deputy Head of Campaigns

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