UNISON has announced that a consultative ballot of school members in England will open on 22 January 2019.
The ballot has arisen out of concerns regarding the chronic underfunding of our schools by the Westminster Government and one of the questions on the consultative ballot paper will ask whether members are prepared to take industrial action. Depending on the result this could lead to a formal ballot for industrial action.
The ballot is taking the form of a national e-ballot and will be administered by UNISON Centre. In order to ensure that the maximum number of members are able to vote branches are being encouraged ask members to add email addresses to their contact details before the ballot opens.
The ballot provides an organising opportunity for branches to engage with members to encourage the highest the turn-out possible and also to recruit non-members and explain why the employment issues in schools are linked directly to cuts in central government funding.
UNISON nationally is working to produce a leaflet, poster and art work for bulletins social media etc. They have asked that stock order numbers for these items are made available before Christmas so branches can pre-order materials. They are setting up a specific webpage on the UNISON website for the ballot, which will give relevant information store resources and also have a link to allow members to vote from the site. They will also produce a Powerpoint presentation for branches to use in workplace meetings.
Our sister unions, NEU, ASCL and NAHT will be running similar ballots. As education is devolved to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the ballot will only include members in England.