The University was reballoted in both the UCU pay and conditions ("the four fights") and the USS pensions disputes. The reasons for the ballots were the same as those in the first ballots in September 2021 and ballots were held for both strike action and action short of strike. Both ballots met the 50% threshold extending the mandate for industrial action beyond 3 May 2022 (51.9% for pay, 52.9% for pensions). Thirty-six HEIs secured a new mandate for strike action, with 24 having a mandate in the USS pensions ballot.
UCU are holding sector conferences on each of the disputes in April and we will update you about further industrial action as soon as we receive notification. We have been collating information about the previous periods of strike action and ASOS regularly and how learning outcomes are being assured; thank you to all those who have helped mitigate the impact of industrial action on students. We recognise that this can be a difficult balance.
A further UUK consultation is underway on the USS investment principles, which we have been discussing with Essex UCU and our external pensions expert. The collective bargaining process between UCEA and the trade unions for the 2022-23 pay uplift has started and applications for the Essex annual review process are currently being considered by Heads of Department and Heads of Section.
Director of People and Culture, University of Essex
Alix Langley joined Essex in September 2021 as the Director of People & Culture. People & Culture includes the Employee Relations and Reward team, Workplace Health & Safety and Wellbeing, Organisational Development and Inclusion, who deliver services to staff and students and are responsible for the People Supporting Strategy to 2025.