UCU Ballot and Goldsmiths Students Union

Our Campaigns and Activities Officer, Joe Leam, on the the UCU Ballot and its importance to students: 

Goldsmiths Students’ Union supports our academic in their endeavour for a fairer workplace with better pay and stable work conditions.

The rationale behind lecturers striking nationally is as follows:

  • Nearly 50 years after the Equal Pay Act 1970, women in higher education earn on average 15.9% less than their male colleagues. Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/gender-pay-gap-how-much-less-are-women-paid-your-university

  • Employers and UCU will develop a nationally agreed framework for action to close the gender pay gap by 2020.

  • They will also devise a nationally-agreed framework for action on precarious contracts to ensure university workers have a stable income.

  • Employers will offer a nationally-agreed payment to recognise excessive workloads. 

  • Workers have not seen a fair real-terms pay rise compared to rising prices (2% doesn’t even cover inflation). Workers will receive a pay increase so their real-wage doesn’t continue to fall.

On top of this, according to Goldsmiths UCU, locally here at Goldsmiths:

  • Over 61% of the academic staff here at Goldsmiths are on insecure contracts.

  • 40% of staff earn under £1,000 a month.

  • 17% suggest they struggle to pay for food.

  • 34% struggled to pay rent/mortgage payments.

  • 36% struggle to pay the bills.

If staff can’t afford to live and aren’t stable in their lives, how can we expect them to look after students and teach properly?

Precarious work means precarious education. A good standard of contract means a good standard of teaching. Academic staff with security makes for secure education. This strike action will make the university better for all.

We at the SU are proud to support UCU, for the lecturers sake, and for the students sake. In solidarity, we can together make the higher education sector fair for all.