‘Not Good Enough!’ say University of Brighton UNISON

UNISON members at University of Brighton weren’t going to let the weather stop them from making their voices heard over pay. After balloting for industrial action in January, the branch joined UCU members on picket lines for 2 days of action on 1 and 2 March.

University of Brighton is one of 10 HE branches taking industrial action over the 2021/22 pay, which was implemented in August. At just 1.5% for most staff, HE pay has failed to keep up with inflation and equates to a real-terms pay cut.

Members lined picket lines on both days, at the City, Mouslecoomb and Falmer campuses. As the rain cleared on Tuesday, UNISON members assembled with UCU colleagues and students, to march from Brighton station through the streets of the city and along the seafront, gathering at The Level to hear speakers from trade unions and the student community.

“We picketed all three Brighton campuses each morning, marched around Brighton on Tuesday alongside Brighton and Sussex UCU, Brighton Trades Council and students from both universities. Overall, we estimate we had around 40 members being involved in some way across the two days, many of which are now used to picket lines and protests. We’ve recruited at least 12 new members to our branch and raised our profile again with all members aware that we’re campaigning for a pay rise for all higher education workers, because we can’t afford not to.” – Ivan Bonsell, University of Brighton Branch Secretary

On Wednesday, UNISON members took shelter and joined other UNISON branches who were also taking part in industrial action, for an online rally at lunchtime.

“Our AGM next week will celebrate what we’ve achieved and debate what happens next. It feels like we’re on the verge of a generalised fightback of trade union members against the injustices of the past few decades. All public sector workers have to demand that their pay matches the spiralling cost of living and this means winning ballots, threatening to strike and campaigning for adequate funding for all public services, across the health service, local government, schools and universities. This issue is not going to go away until we achieve a victory for all working people.” – Ivan Bonsell, University of Brighton Branch Secretary (pictured above)

For more information on the campaign which led to strike action, click here