Thanks for Week 1 and News for Week 2

New Rector, Ann Henderson, with pickets at Moray House

Firstly, a huge thank you to everyone who took part in this week’s strike action.

Whatever claims the University may make, there was a demonstrable impact, whether that took the form of staying away from work (which was clearly the case judging by the lack of people in, for example, the George Square area) or by the numbers who turned up for picketing.

It was truly wonderful to see so many of us make that public stand, and I imagine many of us were overwhelmed by the incredible support provided by our students (whether that was joining us on the picket lines or providing porridge!).

The strength of the action has already had a tangible impact. As most of you will know, talks with UUK, facilitated by ACAS, begin on Monday. Without our action, this would not have happened, and we should all congratulate ourselves for this achievement.

Obviously, this is a very welcome step in the right direction. However, talks are not the same as re-opening negotiations. Given UUK’s reluctance to do this without pre-conditions, UCU is continuing our strike action: so we will all be out again next week.

Locally, the Principal has agreed to meet with the Professoriate tomorrow (Friday 2nd) lunchtime to discuss the open letter they sent him last week. We understand we should expect a statement after that meeting, so look out for more news tomorrow.

Next Week

Our ability to plan for next week has been interrupted by the University’s closure; however, the committee are discussing options and will publicise these as soon as possible.

In the meantime, it would be very helpful if you could email to confirm that you would be willing to picket next week. Please bear with us, and if at all possible please send us a non-university email address at which we can contact you.

If you are unable to picket but would be willing to help out in other ways, please also email us and we will get back to you.

Declaration Forms

Finally, most staff will have already received a request from the appropriate person in their local area to declare when they were on strike. This is perfectly reasonable; however, please remember that you only need to declare strike action in retrospect, so – for now – you need only confirm whether you were on strike on Monday-Wednesday of this past week. As the University is closed today, UCUE would suggest members wait until tomorrow to fill it out.

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Author: Grant Buttars

Socialist, trade unionist, RISE, Common Weal Fife.