Strike, 14th June

Our branch will be on strike on June 14.

Pickets will primarily be at Old College from 9-11am on June 14, where
there will be a meeting of the influential Central Management Group. If
you plan to picket or would like to volunteer to be a picket captain,
please email ucu@ed.ac.uk. Alternatively, on June 14, just come to the
union office at 12 Buccleuch Street at 8:45am to find where available
picket locations are.

A social event with light food will be follow at 11am-1pm (location to be
confirmed). Even if you aren’t available for picketing, feel free to stop
by and say hello to fellow members. This will also be a forum for people
to discuss anything they wish to raise.

The issues are pay, casualisation, and the gender pay gap. More
information can be found at www.ucu.org.uk.

You are NOT legally required to inform your line manager about your plans
for strike action before striking, and we recommend you do not. However,
you must answer truthfully if asked by your line manager after the fact.

We appreciate that June 14 is very soon. This is the first time that UCU
branches are striking on different dates at different universities across
the country. The national leadership decided that in the current
industrial action, each branch should select a day in June or July that
would be most effective locally. At this stage in the industrial dispute,
the branch committee was unwilling to call a strike on a day when a small
number of members would be much more strongly affected than the rest of
us, such as the graduation day for a particular school. Within this
constraint, we believe that June 14 is the most effective strike date in
the next two months.

We were legally obliged to wait until UCU nationally had officially
notified the University before issuing this notice to members.
Unfortunately this has led to you hearing both from both Sally Hunt and
UoE in advance of our notice, for which we apologise.

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Guidance on Working to Contract

Brief guidance on Working to Contract issues.  This is taken from item 24 on the FAQ page:  https://www.ucu.org.uk/heactionfaqs

What should I tell my employer if they ask if I am participating in action relating to working to contract and to the maximum 37-hour week?

You should wait until you are asked by your manager or a person in authority whether you are participating in ‘action short of a strike’ and then answer as follows:

 Dear [Name],

As you will be aware, following a recent ballot, UCU is calling on its members to take continuous action short of strike from 27 May 2016. This is to take the form of working to contract. I am writing to inform you that I shall be working the hours stipulated in my contract and no more. Where my contract is silent on the hours I am expected to work, I will work no more than a total of 35 hours per week, or my pro rata equivalent to take account of my personal circumstances and the length of the normal working week in question. In addition, I will perform no additional voluntary duties, such as out of hours cover, or covering for colleagues, unless this is a contractual requirement, nor will I set and mark work beyond that which I am contractually obliged to set and/or mark, nor will I attend meetings where attendance is voluntary. I will not undertake duties that breach the University’s health and safety and I will work strictly in accordance with the university’s policies or procedures having contractual force.

As I will therefore complete my contractual duties on a weekly basis and in any one week I will not expect the University to make any deductions from my salary save in respect of any strike action which I might take. I will raise a formal grievance if I am deducted pay whilst I am working in accordance with my contract.

Strike Information (25 & 26 May)

strike1Volunteers needed

The Committee would be very grateful for as many members as possible to participate in the picket lines, or to assist in the branch office, on Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th May. Please email ucu@ed.ac.uk if you’re able to help out.

Notifying UoE – your rights

The Committee is aware that some managers are being rather insistent in their requests for information on whether members will be taking strike action. You are under no obligation to tell them in advance – UCU HQ has already provided the University with the information required by law.

The UCU Strike FAQ page (https://www.ucu.org.uk/strikefaqs) states:

Q:           Do I have to tell my employer that I am taking strike action?

A:            It is often the case that managements will send out formal-sounding letters telling you to declare in advance whether you will be taking industrial action. This can have the effect of misleading and intimidating members. To be clear, you are under NO OBLIGATION to inform management in advance as to whether you will be taking part in strike action or action short of a strike. In order to fulfil legal requirements, employers have been provided with statistical information about UCU members taking industrial action, but not individual names. However, if your manager asks you after the strike whether you took action, you should answer truthfully.

Organising meeting

There will be a strike planning meeting on Monday 23rd May at 1pm to 2pm at the branch office, 12 Buccluech Street.

Out-of-office notices

The committee suggests that members may wish to set up an automatic email reply, on the days of the strike, saying “I will not reply to email until May 27, as I am on strike”, “Email messages will not be replied to until May 27, because of the industrial action called by UCU”, or something similar.