subtext 170 – ‘A frontier without borders, a subtext without regulatory alignment’

Fortnightly during term time.

Letters, contributions, & comments:

Back issues & subscription details:

In this issue: editorial, the vc’s pay, deliverology, plug, court, qa at ua, plenty of pvcs, signs, more signs, damp, lost and found, spirit of 84, end of term message, shart, mark thomas review, letters



UCU members have received ballot papers to vote on proposals for strike action to defend USS pensions. We have been here before (see, for example, subtext 82). What makes this one any different? Well, aside from the refrain of ‘won’t get fooled again’ which should be ringing in the ears of everyone as they cast their votes, this is the first strike ballot called by UCU since the Trade Union Act 2016 came into force. The ballot will not be valid unless 50% of the UCU membership participates.

Consider the likely consequences if the 50% threshold is not met. ‘If they can’t get half their membership to vote on an issue like their own pensions,’ the country’s VCs will think, ‘can they get half their membership to vote on anything at all?’ Probably not. Slightly perversely, this means that a vote for ‘No’ on a high turnout would do more for the future bargaining strength of our unions than an overwhelming vote for ‘Yes’ on a turnout of 49%.

So it is all about the turnout and subtext urges all its readers in the UCU to attend one the UCU’s pension information meetings and then cast their vote – we hope you’ll vote ‘Yes’, but would prefer that you voted ‘No’ rather than not voting at all.

Comments are closed.