February is upon us, which means spring is almost on the horizon. Trade unions across the UK are busy fighting for workers experiencing hardship in the cost-of-living crisis, and UNISON is no exception.

Our members in the NHS and the Environment Agency have been taking industrial action, and UNISON’s national cost-of living-crisis campaign “Together We Rise” is constantly developing with hundreds of workers lobbying parliament last year.

More info and support is available here: www.costofliving.unison.org.uk

Open University HE re-ballot outcome

Many of you will have voted in December to decide whether to take industrial action at the Open University. 72% of you voted in favour of industrial action, however turnout was sadly not high enough for the ballot to be successful. UNISON Open University branch will not be taking industrial action at this time, but there is an important update on HE pay below.

Higher Education national pay negotiations

UNISON negotiators met with UCEA in January alongside the other four recognised unions. The employers have put forward a slightly increased offer for the 2023-24 pay negotiations. The consultation is now live and full details should have been emailed to you already. www.unison.org.uk/higher-education-pay-negotiations-2023-24

It’s important to note that the industrial action taken in other UNISON branches, alongside UCU, has led to the pay talks being brought forward this year. Industrial action does make a difference, this is why it is so vital for all UNISON members to take part in ballots when we have the opportunity.

Get involved with union activism at your branch!

We are running a brand-new session;

How to get more involved in my Union? + Q&A

7th February 12.30pm

Register here: www.eventbrite.com/e/how-to-get-more-involved-in-my-union-qa-tickets-528397470057

This will be your opportunity to find out about what it means to be a union rep at work and ask any questions. This comes ahead of our AGM where all branch positions are appointed at the end of March. Find out full details about the available positions, and how to put yourself forward here.

Branch AGM

UNISON OU branch AGM will take place in the last week of March, and we are currently trying to arrange for this to happen in person for the first time after the pandemic. Make sure you check the website where we will keep you updated on all the details.

Upcoming dates

7th Feb             – How to get more involved in my Union? +Q&A – Online session


17th Feb           – Deadline for nominations to this year’s branch positions

31st March       – Branch Annual General Meeting – hold the date – more details to follow