RSA Union Solidarity Motion

The following motion was passed at a quorate branch meeting on 14th February 2024.

This branch notes:

  • Charity workers are overworked, underpaid and exploited. And though not-for-profits often talk of justice, it rarely extends to their own employees.
  • In 2022 staff at the RSA had to fight for their union recognition after voluntary recognition was denied 3 times by senior management. Since then, staff members across all teams and levels of the RSA have been campaigning for a fair pay rise reflective of the current cost-of-living pressures.
  • They have asked for a flat rate of pay that gives the lowest paid members of staff a 10% pay increase to offset a 14% real-terms pay cut in the last 4 years, and also for a 8% pension contribution as staff pensions were slashed to 5.5% during the pandemic.
  • The RSA has offered a pay rise equivalent to just 2.3% for some of members, and no return to higher pension contributions. The RSA union estimates their pay claim would cost the RSA about £300k, or less than 1% of the charity’s total reserves. In the midst of negotiations, RSA management changed the charity’s reserves policy to make it much harder to use reserves to support staff.
  • Regrettably, the RSA management’s response so far has been completely at odds with its values, its public-facing image, and many of the principles that draw support to the RSA. As a result, union members went out on the first strike in the organisation’s 270-year history!
  • Union members at the RSA need solidarity. Management are refusing to negotiate and we need to ramp up the campaign to respond to the aggressive anti-union approach of their boss. These workers on strike rely on support from the labour movement to keep their fight going.

This branch resolves:

  • To boycott any activities at the RSA until the union’s demands are met, as set out by the 2023 pay claim*, and the dispute is resolved.
  • To write to the university leadership and urge they boycott the RSA and write to Andy Haldane, RSA CEO to resolve the dispute with the workers.
  • To promote the upcoming picket dates for the RSA strike to its members and to bring the branch banner to a picket.
  • To send a message of solidarity to the RSA pickets .
  • To make a donation to the RSA strike solidarity fund of £250:
  • To write to Andy Haldane, RSA CEO and condemn his treatment of workers.
  • To promote and publicise the boycott of RSA activities on social media.

*A flat £2800 salary increase. An increase from 5.5% to 8% pension contributions. A £400 allowance for staff who don’t benefit from hybrid working

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