Strike 31st Oct 2013 and Response to management claims
The response from UCU and UNITE to the recent communication from the Director of Human Resources is set out below. Please feel free to copy this and circulate amongst colleagues. A version is at our WWW site at : http://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/ucu/IndustrialAction/
We welcome you all to assist and join in the action on the day and send a clear message to our employers. This is a real chance to bring the employers back to the negotiations and stem the serious erosion of our pay in recent years.
We need as many volunteers as possible to assist us at the main entrances to the University on the day: Main site, MBC, Ashby, DKB. We will start at 8am and maintain a presence till late morning. To volunteer, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating which location you can attend and a mobile contact number. This will remain confidential and will only be used for contacts on the day.
If colleagues that are not UCU members speak with you, please politely ask them to join UCU. Only UCU or UNITE members can legitimately join the strike. If anyone indicates that they feel a strike might not achieve much, then you should remind them that similar action in 2006 brought us a substantial and agreed 3 year pay deal. This benefitted all staff.
Key advice and model letters for circulating to students is now on our Local UCU www site at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/ucu/IndustrialAction/
Professor Mike Larkin, Queen's UCU President
Trade Union Response to Management Claims
In a recent email to staff, QUB management made controversial claims. The responses by UCU and UNITE appear in italics and colour below.
Model Letter to inform students why UCU is taking industrial action
If you wish to inform students of your plans in relation to the UCU industrial action we have provided two model letters which you can choose from and amend as required.
Model reponse to any management request for your intentions prior to industrial action
If you have been asked to declare if you are going to participate in industrial action prior to it taking place you can use the following letter to respond.
I have been advised that I am under no obligation to provide management with information about my intentions with regard to industrial action. You should not draw any conclusions from the fact that I have not responded.
If you take strike action and have worked for your employer for less than 26 weeks up to and including the 15th week before your expected week of confinment you will lose your right to SMP. In this case we advise you not to strike. more...
All UCU members should be on strike with the exception of members with clinical commitment. You should talk to anyone, a UCU member, work colleague, or member of the public who approaches the picket line. Give them a leaflet and explain the reason for the strike and ask them to support the campaign. Anyone who decides to cross a picket line must be allowed to do so. But always take the opportunity to talk to them and explain the reasons for the industrial action. Those workers who wish to cross the picket line should be asked not to undertake any duties or responsibilities other than their own ie not to cover for us.
If a member of another union, or someone who’s not a member of any union, wants to support us by staying away from work, you need to make it clear that if their employers decided to discipline them UCU wouldn’t be able to support them. The individual must then make up their own mind. If they are eligible for UCU membership, their best course of action is to join there and then: they will then have the full protection afforded to any UCU member. Keep membership forms with you for this purpose. If they do decide they have to go in to work, but would like to support us, then encourage them to come to the rally in the Students Union
Students are not vulnerable to disciplinary action like staff, so any student who wishes to support us and not cross the picket line should be made welcome. Likewise, any student who wishes to stand near the picket lines should be made welcome, although they would not be legally recognised official pickets (so shouldn’t, for example, be allowed to wear an armband).
You can seek to persuade other workers, not employed at the university or college, not to deliver goods or to enter the work premises, eg post, milk, stationary supplies etc (this is the only form of permitted 'secondary' action). Mobile numbers of the picket organisers should be available on the day.
UCU HQ have produced Strike FAQs
You can download the following posters and leaflets
United for Education: Fair Pay Now - leaflet (.pdf) [66kb]
United for Education: Fair Pay Now - placard/poster (.pdf) [57kb]
31 October strike for fair pay - poster (.pdf) [81kb]
31 October strike for fair pay - leaflet (.pdf) [178kb]
31 October strike for fair pay - leaflet (.pdf) [77kb]
UCU members held a demonstartion at the International and Postgraduate Centre on Friday 28/10/2011 to ensure that all members of Senate are aware of the membership anger at the imposition of the unecessary changes to YOUR pension. The QUB Senate was holding an emergency meeting there. Members of UNITE were also there to demonstrate on the issue of Pay.
The UCU general secretary emailed members on 29 September to alert the to the preparations now well under way for the next phase of the USS dispute. From 10 October, the union is asking every member to support action short of a strike in the form of 'working to contract'. As a UCU member, this means that from 10 October you should:
You can find detailed guidance and answers to frequently asked questions about this action on our new campaign site: defenduss.web.ucu.org.uk
More detailed information on what action may be feasible is available.