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Message to members following phase 1 of USS strike action

March 16, 2018

Hi all, now that the strikes are over (for now) I just want to record my thanks to all of you for all your support throughout the strike period. We have surpassed all expectations and have had pickets on every campus, at every entrance, every day. We have had staff from across the university, at every level, from every school or department, striking with us and have been supported by our students and the Student’s Union. We have shown that we are united, principled and can influence decision making at the highest level.

We realise that it has not been easy for many of us and I will circulate details of the national strike fund and local hardship fund as soon as I can. Locally we particularly want to support hourly paid staff and those who will be disproportionately affected by financial loss. If you have supported us, then we want to support you.

Now that we are back to work, you may have pressure put on you to reschedule work or take on additional duties to make up for time lost to the strike. Please DO NOT do this. You should notify your line manager that you have been on strike but you do not have to supply any additional information about your course or assessment arrangements put in place to cover strike days.

The following are forms of words you can use or draw on and amend.
If asked for information:

‘Dear whoever, thank you for your email. I have supplied all necessary information to meet my legal obligations regarding strike action. I will be unable to answer any further detailed enquiries until I receive further advice from my UCU representatives’.

If asked to go to a meeting:

‘Thank you for your invitation to meet regarding the impact of strike action on my course. I have already supplied all necessary information in line with UCU advice and legal requirements and will therefore be unable to attend’.

You do not need to answer emails retrospectively and you should certainly not try to fit lost work into one day, or work this evening of over the weekend. As you know, the union is on ongoing action short of strike (ASOS) which includes working to contract and not undertaking voluntary activities. If you are faced with any issues please get in touch on t.irwin@ulster.ac.uk.

We will call meetings next week on each campus to update you on developments and to plan for phase 2 of this solid, national action. Look out for our emails and those from UCU HQ.

Thank you once again for your ongoing support. We have not yet got the deal we require but we are much closer than we were four weeks ago.

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