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More Strike Days Ahead??

The UCU Special HE Sector conference on the 6th December has resolved to : “take 14 days of strike action (20th, 21st, 24th, 25th, 26th February; 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th March). This pattern should spread the action as evenly as possible across different days of the week, so as not to place a disproportionate burden on particular members. 
In developing this proposal, we have taken into account the regional and national variations in the most appropriate timetable for action.”

Industrial action cannot be called by conference, but by the HEC. This decision will be made on the 30th Jan. 2020

Please see the section below for the actual conference notes and resolution, or go to https://www.ucu.org.uk/hesc_Dec19 to see all the proceedings.

4  Scheduling inclusive and equitable strike action: selecting days and weeks – City University of London

Conference notes that:

  1. different institutions have different term dates
  2. most university teaching recurs weekly on the same day
  3. strike action that hits one day harder than another produces inequities around which students are affected and inequities for staff
  4. staff inequities may be most consequential for casualised staff whose teaching is concentrated on particular day(s).

Conference believes that:

  1. student support is critical for members’ confidence and our effectiveness
  2. face-to-face classroom-based interaction is an essential mechanism by which members gain student support
  3. members’ typically want actions that are equitable and inclusive
  4. well-designed action makes it easier for members to participate.

Conference resolves that:

  1. future USS strike-days be spread across the week as equally as possible
  2. to facilitate prior face-to-face discussion with students, concurrent national action is timed so that no branch begins strike action earlier than week two of the teaching term.

4A.1 UCL

Add new Resolves (iii)
  1. accounting for different timetables and Reading Weeks, and timed allowing for branches whose ballots close end January to join, to call national strikes for twelve days in the Spring Term escalating from 2 to 5 days, concentrated for impact with a break of a week as follows: 2, 3 days (Thursday – Wednesday), 0, 2 days (Thursday – Friday), all 5 days per week, thereby evening up the impact on students from recent strikes.

LOST

4A.2 University of Liverpool

After ‘Conference resolves that’, delete i and replace with

  1. we take 14 days of strike action (20th, 21st, 24th, 25th, 26th February; 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th March). This pattern should spread the action as evenly as possible across different days of the week, so as not to place a disproportionate burden on particular members.

In developing this proposal, we have taken into account the regional and national variations in the most appropriate timetable for action.

CARRIED

4A.3 University of Dundee

Add at end of motion:

  1. announce immediately as practicable after conference an intention to strike in the following timetable and note a week’s pause is included to allow employers to reach a settlement prior to the action escalating further:
    Week [24-28 Feb], 2 days
    Week [2-6 Mar], 3 days
    Week [9-13), [pause]
    Wk 9 [16-20 Mar], 5 days
    Wk 10 [23-27 Mar], 5 days
  2. invite branches to adjust one of the strike weeks (as in the 2018 strike) to allow for reading weeks.

FELL

4A.4 UCL

Add new Resolves points (iv – vii)

  1. USS branches are reballoted for summer term action from mid-February to mid-late April, creating a strike mandate as far as late October.
  2. the ASOS ballot be extended to include REF, TEF and KEF duties.
  3. branches be encouraged to set up ‘summer term strike task groups’ to identify dates for the most effective strike action to hit examinations, marking and exam boards
  4. create an appeal to support the national strike hardship fund.

CARRIED

In regards to Motion 4 as amended, conference was reminded that it does not have the power to call industrial action. This power is delegated to HEC under the rules of the union. HEC will therefore decide on the next phase of industrial action having very serious regard to the clear view of conference as expressed in motion 4.

Substantive motion

Conference notes that:

  1. different institutions have different term dates
  2. most university teaching recurs weekly on the same day
  3. strike action that hits one day harder than another produces inequities around which students are affected and inequities for staff
  4. staff inequities may be most consequential for casualised staff whose teaching is concentrated on particular day(s).

Conference believes that:

  1. student support is critical for members’ confidence and our effectiveness
  2. face-to-face classroom-based interaction is an essential mechanism by which members gain student support
  3. members’ typically want actions that are equitable and inclusive
  4. well-designed action makes it easier for members to participate.

Conference resolves that:

  1. we take 14 days of strike action (20th, 21st, 24th, 25th, 26th February; 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th March). This pattern should spread the action as evenly as possible across different days of the week, so as not to place a disproportionate burden on particular members. 
    In developing this proposal, we have taken into account the regional and national variations in the most appropriate timetable for action.
  2. to facilitate prior face-to-face discussion with students, concurrent national action is timed so that no branch begins strike action earlier than week two of the teaching term.
  3. USS branches are reballoted for summer term action from mid-February to mid-late April, creating a strike mandate as far as late October.
  4. the ASOS ballot be extended to include REF, TEF and KEF duties.
  5. branches be encouraged to set up ‘summer term strike task groups’ to identify dates for the most effective strike action to hit examinations, marking and exam boards.
  6. create an appeal to support the national strike hardship fund.
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ASOS – UCU FAQ’s

We have had requests regarding the contractual aspects of ASOS, and are aware members have been told to contact the Branch Representative(s) for clarification.

Branch Reps are not employment lawyers, and will only advise you to refer to the UCU FAQ’s regarding ASOS and other aspects of the current mandated industrial action.

For reference: https://www.ucu.org.uk/he-action-faqs

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Well done and thank-you.

The 8 days are done.

We now move to Action Short of a Strike (ASOS).

Under the ASOS mandate, UCU is asking members to:

  • work to contract
  • not cover for absent colleagues
  • not reschedule lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action
  • not undertake any voluntary activities.

It is worth familiarising yourself with the extensive guidance on ASOS on our action centre webpage and making sure that members are also aware of this resource:

Please post to social media using #UCUasos. If you still need guidance on any aspect of ASOS then, as usual, the quickest way to contact Mike Waddup is by email.

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What an amazing day!!!

Great turn out from members on the picket line.

Matched by significant numbers of GSA students standing in solidarity.

Glasgow University helping us to lose our reserve and chant.

Receiving support from ‘the people on the street’ as we walked to…

The UCU Scotland rally on Buchanan Street, where we stood with hundreds of UCU members.

Inspired by Jo Grady UCU, Aamer Anwar GU Rector, Liam McCabe NUS Scotland, and our very own Branch President Nicholas Oddy.

Head to twitter for a full rundown of the day.

@GSAUCU
@UCUScotland
@UCU


 You know the score:

Tuesday: After meeting at 8:30 on the picket line, we will head down to the political hustings (with soup and a sandwich) at the STUC, 333 Woodlands Road, at 12 noon.

Wednesday: last day of the strike. We intend to picket all day, so please do let us know when you can join the picket line.

Reply to this email stating which time slot(s) you can do.
8:30 till 11:30 | 11:00 till 14:00 | 13:30 till 16:30 | 16:00 till 18:00 
Thanks to those who have already let us know.

Action Short Of Strike from then on.