I am writing to ask you to support your union in the current ballot at Leeds College of Art and Design. You are being balloted for industrial action and action short of a strike so that we can ensure that you finally receive the money your college owes you.
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.
UCU can no longer tolerate this. 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.
I know that your local branch officers have tried talking to the college to persuade them to implement the agreement, but in spite of their 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 I am asking you to vote yes for industrial action and action short of a strike.
I know that we can win this campaign. 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 around 20 other colleges who had not implemented the 2004 pay agreement and all but a handful of these colleges have either reached agreement or are now in talks about implementing the pay increases. See: http://www.ucu.org.uk/iou
I sincerely hope 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 ‘IOU’ colleges shows that we must be able to send a clear message that we are serious. The bigger the turnout and the bigger the yes vote, the greater will be the chances of your management coming to the table.
So please vote yes and make sure your colleagues see this message.
General Secretary, UCU