There will be no strike action from lecturers at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) before Christmas.
This comes after not enough lecturers at CCCU who are members of the University College Union (UCU) voted in the Four Fights dispute ballot.
This was an opportunity for lecturers to vote to strike, or for action short of strike, to support the Four Fights and make a stand against issues including pay, equality, workload and casualisation.
The result of the vote at CCCU was that 70.5% voted for strike action, and 29.5% voted against strike action.
Also, 88.5% voted for action short of a strike, while 11.5% voted against action short of a strike.
The full results can be found here.
Despite a large number of lecturers voting to strike and voting for action short of a strike, there must be a 50% turn out of voters in the branch for action. But, only 38.8% cast their votes, and subsequently, UCU CCCU did not meet this threshold and are therefore not allowed to go on strike at least before Christmas.
Results across branches
On the 5th on November, UCU reported the result of the Four Fights dispute ballot: “Overall, the Yes vote for strike action was 70% and the yes vote for action short of strike (ASOS) was 85%.”
Across branches, there was a turnout of 51% but the ballot was disaggregated meaning a 50% turnout per branch is required. So, the total number of UCU branches that are in a position to take action is 54 out of 146 (37%).
Today (Friday 5 November), University College Union (UCU) received from Civica Election Services the results for the Four Fights dispute ballot. Overall, the Yes vote for strike action was 70% and the Yes vote for action short of a strike (ASOS) was 85%. The aggregated turnout across branches was 51%. The ballot, in accordance to the decisions made by the democratic mechanisms of the union, was run in a disaggregated fashion. That means the total number of UCU branches that are currently in a position to take action is 54 out of the total 146.UCU
A re-ballot can be expected in the New Year and this a could affect students at CCCU.
Ballots this time were disaggregated (meaning you need to get 50% turn out per branch for that university to strike). However, an aggregated ballot might be run next time after the national turn out was over 50%.
This means that even if UCU CCCU doesn’t get a high enough turn out, like this time, they could still strike if the national turn out is over 50% again.
Four Fights explained
The National Union of Students has backed staff voting for strike action, calling their working conditions “untenable”.
UCU is demanding a £2.5k pay increase for all staff; an end to race, gender and disability pay injustice; a framework to eliminate zero-hours and other casualised contracts; and meaningful action to tackle unmanageable workloads.UCU website
UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “It is scandalous that university vice-chancellors on overinflated salaries seem to think doing nothing on pay, casualisation and inequality is acceptable in a sector awash with money.
“We truly hope that disruption can be avoided, that is what staff and students alike all want. But this is entirely in the gift of employers who simply need to end their attacks on pensions, pay and working conditions and finally demonstrate they value their staff.”
You can read our previous article about strike action here.