Statement on the Suspension of the National Ballot

Dear all,

You will have heard by now that the ballot has been suspended. The decision to suspend was taken partly because the union has agreed to take the dispute to ACAS and partly because of the threats by some 78 employers to use anti-trade union legislation to take the union to court over the accuracy of membership information. The general secretary has made it clear that if there is no resolution to our pressing concerns on redundancies and pay — remember that the unions have just collectively rejected a revised, whopping 0.4% pay offer — then the ballot will be re-started in the Autumn. These issues have not gone away and I have no reason to believe that the union’s decision to postpone the ballot signals any kind of acceptance of the need for redundancies or a pay cut.

At last week’s general meeting, members asked me to press the Warden on our invitation to hold a joint open meeting with him on issues underlying the ballot. I have heard back from him that he feels that it would not be appropriate to hold any additional meetings outside the established negotiating machinery (like the JNCC at Goldsmiths and New JNCHES nationally). He also pointed out that there will be open meetings for all staff on finance and staffing at Goldsmiths this Thursday and Friday. I would urge you attend these meetings and to raise, where appropriate, our legitimate concerns about redundancies and pay in the HE sector as a whole as these are certainly relevant to discussions about the future of Goldsmiths as an individual institution.

Des Freedman

President, Goldsmiths UCU