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November 25th, 2021:

Strike Information

UCU HQ Strike FAQs

https://ucu.org.uk/article/11817/HE-disputes-FAQs

Physical Pickets

Please do email to let us know if you plan to come along to the physical picket lines next week. We are asking you to email in as we will be forwarding all ‘in person’ picketers detailed UCU legal/Covid guidance ahead of the physical pickets on Wednesday.

Virtual Pickets

We are very mindful that we need to be careful with how we organise our physical pickets due to the pandemic and so we are also setting up a ‘virtual/online’ picket for those who would prefer to join in remotely. A ‘virtual picket’ meeting link will be circulated to all members shortly.

Outlook forwarding

Please find guidance here on how to set up auto forwarding during the strike days if your usual mode of communication for Reading UCU is your work email. This means you will receive any updates from us without having to access your work email account.

Strike Fund

UCU will be supporting members from the central Fighting Fund for this dispute. Daily rates will be £75 for members in UCU subscription bands F3-6 (those earning under £30,000) and £50 for members in bands F0-F2 (those earning £30,000 and over). All members participating in strike action will be able to claim for the second day of the strike action onwards. All details can be found here

If you know anyone who would like to donate to the UCU Fighting Fund, please forward the link: https://www.ucu.org.uk/fightingfund

Resources for students

-USS FAQs (includes What is the USS dispute about?) https://www.ucu.org.uk/uss-faqs
-NUS petition: Students stand in solidarity with UCU’s demands. Senior managers must agree to avoid disruption. https://www.nus.org.uk/articles/student-views-on-ucu-strikes-revealed-by-nus

Strike out-of-office

Members may want to use the following template, checked by our Regional Office:

I am not able to check email today as members of Reading UCU are taking industrial action, along with members at 37 other universities, in opposition to the devastating cuts to our pension scheme. The UCU USS modeller indicates that a typical USS member at point 37 of the current higher education pay spine would suffer a 35% cut to the guaranteed retirement benefits which they would build up between the projected date for implementation of the proposals and their retirement. Members of Reading UCU will be on strike on Wednesday 1st, Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd December. If you would like more information about the dispute, please go to https://www.ucu.org.uk/strikeforuss. If you are a student, please visit the NUS petition here: https://email-nus.org.uk/p/5BGA-9DB/strike-letter

Informing the University about your strike action

Members are under no obligation to inform HR, or indeed any other member of staff, about their intentions to undertake strike action if you are going to be on strike next week. If a manager asks, you can politely decline to answer that question in advance of taking part in any forthcoming action.
Members also do not need to notify the Director of HR, or anyone else, immediately after every day of strike action. Our days of strike action are Wednesday 1st, Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd December. After that period of strike action, if full time (and if you are not contracted to work weekends), your next day of work would be Monday 6 December. That’s the day to confirm that you have taken part in action, once you have been asked to notify. If you work part-time, then it would be the next day that you are scheduled to work after strike action. See the relevant UCU Strike FAQ here: https://ucu.org.uk/article/11817/HE-disputes-FAQs

Action Short of A Strike

UCU is running a series of 20 minute bite-size courses on action short of striking (ASOS) to maximise participation and impact of the industrial action in higher education. Please book on a course here: https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/11908/UCU-online-teach-outs?utm_source=Lyris&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=campaignupdate&utm_term=_all-members&utm_content=The+Friday+email:+26+November+2021

UCU Covid advice for teach outs and pickets

https://reading.web.ucu.org.uk/files/2021/11/211123-UCU-covid-guidance-re-picketing-and-teach-outs.pdf

UCU Picketing guidance

https://ucu.org.uk/media/1132/Branch-picket-guidance/pdf/ucu_picketing-guidance1.pdf