Unison, Unite, EIS, GMB and UCU have all proceded to cancel their strikes as a result of decisions by their union General Secretaries or Executives, a position that emerges out of the ACAS talks. To the majority of members of these unions, it's not clear exactly what they've been offered beyond a "limited improvement" to the pay offer for 2022-23. After so much sacrifice, this doesn't sound great. For Unison, as with UCU, there was no consultation with members and branches before the 'pause' was agreed. Branch officers only found out when members did via social media. Many feel betrayed by union bureaucrats seemingly capitulating to or collaborating with UCEA. Where will the trail of betrayals end? We clearly need a different kind of union to defend our interests.
Support staff and professional services are often ignored and forgotten in this fight. Many of us feel this deal will screw us over most as we had only balloted over pay and that is the one issue that is being ignored. Even if UCU gets concessions on pensions or contracts (and good for them if they do) it won't help us support staff.
While we have no magic formula to guarantee success, our small union, the Solidarity Federation Education Union (SFEU), actively involves all members in decision-making at every level. We have no full-timers, no managers in the union and we can respond quickly to disputes. We don't divide workplaces up according to job - our union is horizontal and unites workers across schools, colleges and universities. This is syndicalism, a form of unionism currently being reactivated by us. Join SFEU!