The University College Union (UCU) yesterday announced the outcome of their ballot on proposed industrial action regarding the USS Pension (Universities Superannuation Scheme).
Two different questions were asked to UCU members in the ballot, reflecting the complex nature of this issue; ‘Are you prepared to take industrial action consisting of strike action?’ and ‘Are you prepared to take industrial action consisting of action short of strike action up to and including a marking and assessment boycott?’.
At Royal Holloway, the turnout of UCU members voting in the ballot was 50.1%, just reaching the 50% threshold required by Trade Union law to pursue action based on the outcome.
For the question ‘Are you prepared to take industrial action consisting of strike action?’, 83.59% respondents at Royal Holloway said 'Yes' and 16.41% said 'No'; one ballot was blank.
For the question ‘Are you prepared to take industrial action consisting of action short of strike action up to and including a marking and assessment boycott?’, 86.38% of respondents at Royal Holloway said 'Yes' and 13.62% said 'No'.
The Royal Holloway branch of the UCU are yet to announce whether industrial action will be pursued, when this will occur or what form it will take. However, we acknowledge this issue is complex in nature and the student body at Royal Holloway likely holds a variety of different positions on the issue. The Officer Group have called a preferendum on the proposed UCU industrial action, to be held once a decision on the proposed action has been called by the UCU, in order to reflect the different positions students may take and inform the position of the Students’ Union on the UCU industrial action.
In the Democracy Review, you told us that there are situations where a two stance referendum will not reflect the view of the student body on complex situations. This why we have learnt from the two stance referendum undertaken during the last UCU strikes and will be posing a preferendum, using an alternative vote system where students rank their preferences to leave us with an outcome supported as best as it can be by the student body.
Your Students’ Union is here to reflect your views alongside inform students on matters relating to their education. The preferendum will be accompanied by background information and context on the issue pertaining to these strikes, we will endeavour to ensure students are educated sufficiently to determine their own view on the situation and make an informed preferendum ranking.
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