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RUCU AGM Announcement: 9th June

Dear RUCU members,

We are sending you an invite to the Reading UCU Annual General Meeting 2022. 

This is the formal announcement, required under local rules (https://reading.web.ucu.org.uk/local-rules/), of the meeting which will take place on Thursday the 9th of June. An agenda will be circulated for the meeting 14 days beforehand, by the 26th of May, as also required under local rules. We will need to have receive any items for the agenda, including motions, by 5pm on 24th of May.

If you would like to participate more in the Branch’s work, please consider standing for election as an ordinary Committee member or as one of the Branch Officers. If you would like more information, there is a description of the responsibilities of the roles currently in the Local rules of our website at www.reading.web.ucu.org.uk in section 8, or have a chat with one of the existing Committee members (names and contact details also on the website). 

Our Returning Officer, Moray McAulay (Southern UCU Regional Official), will need to receive all nominations by 12 noon Thursday the 12th of May. ​Please send your nominations to Colette Maxfield, the Branch Administrator, who will pass them on to the returning officer. Nomination forms are available on the Branch website at https://reading.web.ucu.org.uk/files/2022/04/RUCU-Nomination-form-for-Committee-and-Officers-2022-23.docx

Each nomination should be supported by two members of the Branch. Please include the two members in your email (in cc), so that they can email to confirm support for the nomination. Positions for which there is only one candidate will be elected unopposed, while any elections required will be carried out through an online ballot of members in the weeks between the close of nominations and the AGM.

Please do let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you everybody and take care

Reading UCU

Strike Information March 2022

UCU HQ Strike FAQshttps://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. We are asking you to email in as we will be forwarding all ‘in person’ picketers detailed UCU legal/Covid 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 11:30-13:30 on the following days of industrial action: Wed 23, Thurs 24 and Fri 25 March. 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.  Please note, we are not running physical pickets on Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 March.

Virtual Pickets

Please find the UCU Teams link in a recent members email:

Wed 23: 09:00-10:00

Thurs 24: 09:00-10:00

Fri 25: 11:00-12:00

Mon 28: 09:00-10:00

Tues 29: 09:00-10:00

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: rucu-bounces@lists.reading.ac.uk, 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

-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, as part of a national dispute, 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 Wed 23, Thu 24, Fri 25 March, plus Mon 28 & Tues 29 March. 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 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 days of strike action are on Wed 23, Thu 24, Fri 25 March, plus Mon 28 & Tues 29 March. After that period of strike action, if full time, your next day of work would be 30 March. 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

Please see the ASOS FAQ and relevant Reclaim our time: ASOS campaign pages on the national UCU website here:https://ucu.org.uk/article/11817/HE-disputes-FAQs#Taking-action-short-of-a-strike

Members should note that UCU has provided notice to University of Reading, that expands the scope of the ASOS that we are asking members to participate in at University of Reading. We ask members to note that the ASOS now includes:

• 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 classes and lectures cancelled due to strike action

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 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? UCU – HE disputes FAQs

UCU Covid advice for picketers

https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/11817/HE-disputes-FAQs#Covid19-health-andsafety-picketing-advice

Slides For USS Open Meeting Wednesday 16th March

Slides: USS Pensions Dispute meeting 16 Mar 22

For further questions on this slide presentation, please contact:

Branch President: Sally Pellow s.j.pellow@reading.ac.uk

Branch Secretary: Nat Willmott n.v.p.willmott@reading.ac.uk

Reading UCU Comments on USS Pension

This is a message from the Branch President of Reading UCU for all colleagues,
in response to the message from Vice-Chancellor Robert Van de Noort posted
on the staff portal here.

On 22 February 2022 the Chair of the USS Joint Negotiating Committee, Judith
Fish, used her casting vote to determine that proposals put forward by
Universities UK (UUK) last summer should be implemented from 1 April 2022.
The UUK proposals were tabled at the USS Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC)
at its meeting on 31 August 2021 where the employers voted for the proposal,
and the Chair used their casting vote to make the final decision. See here for
the UCU report of the meeting.

These changes, effective from 1 April 2022, have been calculated by UCU and
USS as being detrimental to the final pensions received by those in the
scheme: typically, the losses will range from 10% of final pension for those
nearing retirement, to 51% of final pension for those starting out in the sector.
Staff can review their own likely losses at the USS supplied modeller or at the
UCU modeller or can compare the losses at a separate app produced by some
staff at Bristol University. The changes were designed to respond to
predictions of a significant loss in the future value of the pension scheme: this
was based on a snapshot valuation of the scheme undertaken on 31 March
2020 (during the first lockdown).

Benefits accrued to 1 April 2022 will remain unaffected.

UCU sought to table a counter proposal at that August meeting, but the
employers’ representatives refused to agree to underwrite those proposals
(the covenant support) which meant that the proposals could not be formally
presented to the USS JNC for consideration and voting. As the proposals could
not be formally presented and were unviable without the covenant support,
they could not be shared with the wider group of members or employers.
In January this year, UCU put forward a new alternative approach, which would
involve an increase in contribution from both staff and employers for a short
period, pending a revaluation of the scheme. The timing of this was based on
the ending of the consultation of USS members on employers’ benefit cuts: the
consultation closed in January. The consultation indicated a very strong
preference from members to protect current benefits. Details of the new
alternative proposal are laid out in this article from 26 January 2022: the
details make clear that the proposals are limited to a temporary increase in
employer contribution to rise no higher than 25.2%, pending a new formal
valuation of the pension scheme.

UUK then sought the views of their members at their 140 universities, whilst
adding their own commentary to the proposals, although there appears to
have been some delay before they did so. A number of elements were
misrepresented to employers, in particular the extent to which the employer
contributions might rise. For a detailed rebuttal of these misrepresentations,
see UCU General Secretary Jo Grady’s response where she confirms that UUK
now accept that there would not be any rise beyond 25.2%, and certainly not
to the 29.1% suggested in Professor Van de Noort’s commentary. A further
commentary is available at ‘UCU proposals for securing the future of USS
following the 2020 valuation’ where UUK’s own override is clarified; also the
explanatory blog by Michael Otsuka, one of the alternate USS negotiators, at ‘A simple means of ensuring that rates are capped at 25.2% and 9.8% from 1 April
2023′.

As we all know, investments are subject to fluctuations and there are no
guarantees that a future valuation of the pension fund would show an
improvement. Valuations are subject to the oversight of the Pensions
Regulator and are obliged to take a prudent view. Currently, the fund has total
assets of £89.3bn and contributions coming in are greater than the amount
being paid out to members. USS’s own calculations, referenced here in a
Medium post by one of the negotiators show that the calculated deficit fell
from £14bn to £3bn in the period since the 2020 valuation.

Whilst there is obviously no guarantee that a valuation in April 2023 would
show an improvement, the reality is that the indications are clearly favourable.
Further research by staff at Cambridge University challenges the assumption of
any projected deficit and can be viewed here together with a link to a
recording of an open meeting. In the High Court this week, a legal challenge to
the USS directors over the 2020 valuation was raised by a group of academics
and they have obtained court permission to move to a full hearing: see details
here.

We would be very concerned about suggestions that staff might be
discouraged from participating in the scheme.

We will be calling an open meeting shortly for USS members at Reading to
discuss this further.

Kind regards,
Sally
Sally Pellow
President, Reading UCU

Regional Office Advice Regarding Recent HR Email [Subject: UCU industrial action]

UCU’s own guidance states, after a period of strike action has taken place, that if your employer asks you to confirm whether or not you partook in the action you should respond honestly. Of course, what is not more clearly defined is what or “who” is meant by “the employer”.

Our UCU Regional Office understands that this a more recent and new development at University of Reading, that of HR emailing staff directly. Please read carefully the UCU’s FAQ on industrial action, as a number of the requests that HR outline in the message to staff are actually all covered by the ongoing ASOS mandate that we hold (i.e. not uploading materials related to lectures/seminars missed due to strike action). [For more information on our ASOS mandate, please check our up to date blog post here.]

If you have not yet responded to the University, you may want to email your line manager to inform them that you partook in strike action and on what days, in order to fulfil your obligations in this regard.

Action Short of A Strike Updated Guidance

Action Short of A Strike

Please see the ASOS FAQ and relevant Reclaim our time: ASOS campaign pages on the national UCU website here:
https://ucu.org.uk/article/11817/HE-disputes-FAQs#Taking-action-short-of-a-strike

Members should note that UCU has provided notice to University of Reading, that expands the scope of the ASOS that we are asking members to participate in at University of Reading. We ask members to note that the ASOS now includes:

• 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 classes and lectures cancelled due to strike action

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 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.

Strike Information February 2022

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. We are asking you to email in as we will be forwarding all ‘in person’ picketers detailed UCU legal/Covid 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 each day of industrial action: 14 to 18 February and again on 21 & 22 February. 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.

14th February – Valentines strike day

As our first strike date is Valentine’s day, we shall be digging out our red and pink scarfs, hats and gloves. We will be handing out to members our wonderfully pink and warm UCU hats – available to members on a first come first serve basis. It is also HeartUnions week | TUC next week, so we are encouraging placards with USS related valentines slogans as well as twitter selfies/slogans ‘All I want from the University of Reading this Valentines day is to save my USS Pension….’ Don’t forget to tweet with @HeartUnions @ReadingUCU @UCU

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: rucu-bounces@lists.reading.ac.uk, as well as adding the email addresses of RUCU, our Branch Officers (Sally, Nat) and our administrator (Colette), to your ‘safe list’ in outlook.

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. Our understanding is that because this is an ongoing dispute, members will be eligible to claim for the full seven days of this round of action. 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, as part of a national dispute, 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 between 14 to 18 February and again on 21 & 22 February. 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 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 days of strike action are 14 to 18 February and again on 21 & 22 February. After that period of strike action, if full time , your next day of work would be 23 February. 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

Please see the ASOS FAQ and relevant Reclaim our time: ASOS campaign pages on the national UCU website here:
https://ucu.org.uk/article/11817/HE-disputes-FAQs#Taking-action-short-of-a-strike

Members should note that UCU has provided notice to University of Reading, that expands the scope of the ASOS that we are asking members to participate in at University of Reading. We ask members to note that the ASOS now includes:

• 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 classes and lectures cancelled due to strike action

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 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? UCU – HE disputes FAQs

UCU Covid advice for picketers

https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/11817/HE-disputes-FAQs#Covid19-health-andsafety-picketing-advice

RUCU Open Letters re USS

Dear Professor Van de Noort,

You would have seen that the University and College Union (UCU) issued a set of new proposals for the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) on 26 January 2022 which are aimed at averting widespread industrial action across UK campuses in February and beyond. [Link: https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/11997/UCU-submits-new-pension-proposals-to-avert-UK-wide-strike-action ]

These new proposals would see retirement benefits protected in return for a small increase in contributions for both members and employers ahead of a new evidence-based valuation of the scheme. A USS consultation of scheme members concluded on 17 January 2022, and UCU understands that a significant majority preferred increasing contributions of members and employers in order to protect benefits over the alternatives, including benefit cuts. Moreover, USS confirmed on Thursday 20 January that its assets have jumped to over £92bn, more than £25bn higher than the previous valuation.

Last year UCU tabled proposals that would have protected benefits and averted December’s strike action, but Universities UK (UUK) refused to provide the same level of covenant support to underwrite UCU’s proposals as they provided for their own.

UCU’s proposals are as follows:

· that UUK call on USS to issue a moderately prudent, evidence-based valuation of the financial health of the scheme as at 31 March 2022, to be issued for consultation in June (at the latest)

· that employers agree to provide the same level of covenant support as for their own proposals to facilitate a cost-sharing of current benefits throughout the 2022/23 scheme year, starting 1 April 2022 at 11% member/23.7% employer until 1 October 2022, and 11.8%/25.2% thereafter

· that employers agree to pay a maximum of 25.2% and members a maximum of 9.8% from 1 April 2023 so as to secure current benefits or, if not possible, the best achievable as a result of the call on USS to issue a moderately prudent, evidence-based valuation.

We are writing to ask whether you would support UCU’s proposals instead of UUK’s plan. Under UUK’s plan university staff would see an approximate 35% cut to their guaranteed retirement income based on a flawed USS valuation conducted in March 2020.

We would appreciate a response from you before Friday 11 February. This is your chance to avoid further disruptive strikes by staff determined to defend their pensions.

Yours sincerely

Sally Pellow

For Reading UCU branch committee

Please find the response to this open letter from University of Reading here (click to enlarge): UCU USS VC Response 09 February 2022

ASOS FAQs and Resources

Resources:

Main Reclaim our time website – https://www.ucu.org.uk/reclaim-our-time

UCU HQ FAQ on ASOS https://ucu.org.uk/article/11817/HE-disputes-FAQs#Taking-action-short-of-a-strike

Simplified spreadsheet to record duties performed https://www.ucu.org.uk/media/12208/Simplified-working-hours-recording-sheet/spreadsheet/Reclaim_our_time_ASOS_template_-_simplified1.xlsx

Full template spreadsheet to record duties https://www.ucu.org.uk/media/12201/Working-hours-recording-sheet/spreadsheet/Reclaim_our_time_ASOS_template_-_main1.xlsx

Template letter for work not completed https://www.ucu.org.uk/media/12202/WTC-hours-template-letter/doc/Reclaim_our_time_template_letter.docx

Reclaim our time flyer https://www.ucu.org.uk/media/12224/Reclaim-our-time—flyer/pdf/ucu_asos_reclaim_flyer.pdf

Trade union Act 2016 – TUC briefing https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/RepsBriefingTradeUnionAct.pdf

Q. What should members be doing in terms of ASOS when it comes to grant applications and working on papers for journals? What is the UCU advice?

A. Regional office: In determining whether grant applications and papers for journals are included within ASOS will come down to the role held by our member. So for example, if a member is in an academic related role as a grants administrator, then work on grant applications would be a core part of the existing contract and therefore tasks should be completed as normal. I have read this question as coming from the point of view of an academic member of staff in the balanced or research intensive career pathway. This is a situation in which an argument could be presented and evidence with regard to whether or not such duties are contractual, and therefore whether this is fully covered by our ASOS mandate. In this context, I think that it is helpful to consider the impact of a UCU member withholding grant applications or journal papers. These actions would arguably impact on both the individual and the university; however I think that it would most keenly and acutely be felt by the individual academic. The point of any industrial action is to impose costs on to the employer for failing to listen to the union/their own staff. I think that any action to withholding grant applications or journal papers is more likely to harm our member than the employer, at least in the short term, and therefore I am inclined to advise that this would not be covered by the current ASOS. However, if we are advising members on this point, we should ask them to look at their own contract and duties first, as this should provide the definitive statement of which duties are contractual and which are voluntary in nature.


Q. If a PhD student is employed to undertake marking within a set number of hours – should they be doing as many scripts as possible within their paid/set hours and no more? What should they communicate to the University about this?

A. Regional office: The first observation is that what action the PhD student is able to take will depend on the contractual situation, i.e. what contractual agreement is in place for the member to undertake/teaching marking. If our advice is that members should only do the work in their contracts, it is reasonable for us to refer the member back to their contracts of employment. I think that it is reasonable for the PhD student to mark as many scripts as possible (at their usual speed) within the set and paid hours, and not to undertake any work on a voluntary basis. I suggest that our member should communicate to the University that they have fulfilled their contractual duties in full, but that due to the UCU action they will not be undertaking any voluntary duties. If the time allocated to the marking work is insufficient, this should be communicated to the University. I think that it might be helpful to point our member towards the information and resources in the ‘reclaim our time’ campaign. Please see the website below for more details:
https://www.ucu.org.uk/reclaim-our-time

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. We are asking you to email in as we will be forwarding all ‘in person’ picketers detailed UCU legal/Covid guidance. In the first instance, can picketers please make their way to the Shinfield Road entrance and find a picket supervisor.

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 has been circulated to all members.

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 this 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

Please see the ASOS FAQ and relevant Reclaim our time: ASOS campaign pages on the national UCU website here:
https://ucu.org.uk/article/11817/HE-disputes-FAQs#Taking-action-short-of-a-strike

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