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Strike on 3rd December

November 29, 2013

Representatives from UCU and the other three HE unions in dispute met with the University and Colleges Employers Association on 20th November. This followed a letter from the employers saying they were willing to attend talks aimed at resolving the dispute. However, despite this previous commitment the employers were unwilling to offer any improvement at all to their last offer, leaving UCU members continuing to face a 13% pay cut against inflation. Despite misleading information in the email you received from HR recently, UCU will continue to use all avenues and channels open to us to achieve a breakthrough in negotiations, including at further talks scheduled for this week.  In the meantime however, we must now intensify preparations for the strike to take place on 3rd December. UCU HQ has issued a new briefing on what is happening to pay in Higher Education. You can read it here:


What You Should Do:

We expect all members who were balloted to participate in the strike.  Even though you may not have voted yes we expect you to respect the clearly expressed wishes of your fellow members.  Please inform your students that you will not be teaching them or providing any form of service on the 3rd December.  There is no need to make a long speech, but you can offer to explain further after class, etc.

On the strike day you should not set foot on University premises.  If you can spare an hour at all, it would be good if you made your support visible by picketing a campus entrance nearest to you..  Although some of us will be picketing from early morning, we will need people throughout the day. Please contact Goretti Horgan (chair UCU Ulster) if you can help with the picket (

We want a good-natured, dignified and EFFECTIVE picket.  Do not obstruct anyone, but hand them a leaflet or briefly explain to them the nature of our problems.  You should particularly speak to anybody whom you believe to be a member of academic or related staff.  You should explain that we are acting for their benefit and invite them to join us.  If they decline, you should not intimidate them.  At Ulster Unite members (technicians, clerical and other support staff) will be on strike.  All Universities will be on strike across the UK.

Management may ask you if you intend to strike.  You are under no obligation whatsoever to provide this information to management ahead of the industrial action taking place. Our advice would be to ignore such requests or politely decline.  However, once industrial action has taken place, the University is entitled to collect information from staff as to whether or not they took part in the action. This normally takes the form of a written request and you should provide the relevant information within a reasonable time period. The UCU website has a special Frequently Asked Questions section if you have any concerns.

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