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May 14th, 2010:

VOTE YES to support your union – a message from UCU general secretary Sally Hunt

Please see below a message from UCU general secretary Sally HUnt, circulated to members at UAL yesterday:

Dear colleague, 

I am writing to ask for your help. Most of you will have received your ballot papers by now. Please use your vote to support your negotiators’ efforts to protect jobs. 

The rector, Nigel Carrington, appears intent on pressing ahead with a redundancy programme that we believe is causing and will continue to cause immense damage to the University of the Arts and its colleges, as well as forcing many of you and your colleagues out of their posts.
You have so much to be proud of at UAL. You have a global reputation for delivering high quality arts education. Yet that reputation is suffering badly under a management that currently refuses to engage with UCU and your negotiators’ proposals.

These cuts will affect everyone at UAL. Some colleges have already been hit and more than 100 colleagues have already lost their jobs. More are under threat of redundancy now and it is clear that no one in any college will be untouched. The reviews imposed in each case have been characterized by failures of good process that your negotiators describe as ‘destructive and unnecessary’.

Across our sector, UCU members are making it clear that they are determined to take action to defend jobs and education. At Leeds and Kent, we have won notable successes and convinced management to adopt more constructive approaches that avoid compulsory redundancies and involve engaging with unions in the future.

I know industrial action is an absolute last resort for you and your colleagues, even when jobs are at risk. That is why UCU will do all in its power – as will your local branch officers – to persuade the management to negotiate. I believe that a negotiated solution is still possible at UAL. But that’s why your vote is so important. Every vote counts, and every YES vote strengthens your negotiators’ position.
Please use YOUR vote to support the union, to support colleagues and to defend arts education at UAL. 
Best wishes, 

Sally Hunt
UCU general secretary

If you have not received a ballot paper but believe you should have, or have a query about the ballot, please contact the regional office on 020 7756 2634 or e-mail