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Strike FAQ Autumn 2022

UCU HQ Strike FAQs

Physical Pickets

Please do email to let us know if you plan to come along to the physical picket lines. We are asking you to email in as we will be forwarding all ‘in person’ picketers detailed UCU legal guidance. In the first instance, can picketers please make their way to the Shinfield Road entrance and find a picket supervisor. We will be picketing between 08:00-09;30 on the following days of industrial action: Thurs 24, Fri 25 and Wed 30 November. The first six members to arrive will be given ‘Picket’ armbands, and we’ll cover the main road entrance plus the path from the bus stop past the Sports Centre. Supporters are very welcome to pop by and say hello.

Virtual Pickets

Thurs 24: 09:00-10:00 Click here to join the meeting  Meeting ID: 338 127 171 944 Passcode: o4saH5

Fri 25: RUCU members are encouraged to attend the national UCU virtual picket line at 10:30AM on Friday 25 on Zoom. You can join by following this link or by entering the Meeting ID 854 7912 2665. No passcode is required.

Emails and 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. Please note, if the redirect is not working, please try setting the redirect rule to work for the following email address also:, as well as adding the email addresses of RUCU, our Branch Officers (Sally, Nat) and our administrator (Colette), to your ‘safe list’ in outlook.

Resources for students

Reading UCU Information for Students. A4 Leaflet

-USS FAQs (includes What is the USS dispute about?)

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 in opposition to the devastating cuts to our pension scheme. The value of the staff USS pension has been unnecessarily cut by an average 35%. Members of Reading UCU will be on strike 24, 25 and 30 November. Please do not email on these days as I will not be able to respond to emails sent to me on strike days on my return.  

If you would like more information about the dispute, please visit UCU – FAQs. If you are a student, please do contact to find out what steps the University is taking to avoid a dispute, we are urgently looking for meaningful negotiations so that we can all return to work. If you are a student affected by strike action, you can also contact the Students’ Union for independent advice and support at 

Members may also want to upload and use the UCU USS email signature banner: ucuRISING_EmailBanner_600px_04_USS_221103.png (600×150)

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 in the next two weeks. 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 first days of strike action are on Thurs 24 and Fri 25 November. After that period of strike action, if full time, your next day of work would be Monday 28 November. 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 you would notify, if asked, the next day that you are scheduled to work after this period of strike action.

Members will then be on strike on Wed 30 November. Members of staff do not need to notify the University of this day of action until Thurs 1st December (or their next working day after that if on a part time contract).

See the relevant UCU Strike FAQ here:

Action Short of A Strike

Please see the ASOS FAQ on the national UCU website here:’action_short_of_a_strike’_(ASOS)

Staff will begin action short of a strike (ASOS) from Wednesday 23 November onwards at institutions in England, Wales and Scotland.

Action short of a strike will consist of the following until further notice:

  • working to contract
  • not covering for absent colleagues
  • removing uploaded materials related to, and/or not sharing materials related to, lectures or classes that will be or have been cancelled as a result of strike action
  • not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action
  • not undertaking any voluntary activities.

In terms of ​rescheduling, the national UCU FAQs linked above state that by ‘lectures or classes’ we mean any activity between any UCU member and a student or group of students which involves any instruction, tuition, communicating or sharing of knowledge or guidance.

This includes teaching which would have taken place on one of UCU’s strike days and covers instructional activities undertaken by UCU members who are academic-related professional services staff, as well as academic staff. You should, if asked, refuse to reschedule such sessions, stating that you are supporting UCU’s action short of a strike.

If someone else such as a line manager or head of department has already scheduled your classes, the FAQ state that once the action has started you should not teach rescheduled classes whoever has rescheduled them.

The national UCU FAQS also outline that the reasonability of any request will depend on the terms of your contract and custom and practice. If in doubt, or if your actions are challenged by someone senior to you, you should temporarily suspend your action and contact your branch who will seek further advice.

As a result, please do not hesitate to get in touch for support if you need to, for example by contacting the Branch Administrator in the first instance. We can ask for additional guidance from our regional office on your behalf.

UCU Picketing guidance

What is the law on picketing?



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