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Information for colleagues on recent industrial action

06 Dec 2019

Next steps following the strike action

John Owens building

Following the strike action (linked to the current disputes on pay, the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension and other employment matters) by the University and College Union (UCU), and ongoing action short of a strike, please find information below on next steps:

Update on national negotiations

There are ongoing discussions between UCU and the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) and Universities UK (UUK) as the representatives of employers on pay and other employment matters, and the USS pension respectively, and it is our continued hope that a resolution will be found that brings the current disputes to an end. We continue to encourage UUK and UCEA to engage with UCU. Meanwhile, our priority remains to mitigate any impact of industrial action on our students. 

Assessing the impact of strike days

We are focused on ensuring that affected students receive learning to cover all their unit level intended learning outcomes (ILOs) and are undertaking a review to identify any ILOs that have not been covered, and what mitigations are being put in place. 

Schools and departments will send updates to inform students of any changes to teaching, assessment and feedback as soon as they are in a position to do so. 

Deductions from pay for strike days 

As is normal, a deduction of pay will be made for all employees who took strike action or who refused to cross a picket line. We are trusting staff to report this to their line manager in order that names can be provided to Karen Heaton, Director of Human Resources, via local Human Resources Business Partners.  For all strike days between 25 November and 4 December 2019, this information should be provided by 9 December 2019. 

Pay will be deducted at 1/365th of annual salary for each day of strike action taken. The deduction will occur mid-January for staff paid mid-month and at the end of January for those paid at the end of the month. The University will not benefit from any deductions in pay and will use it for the benefit of our students.

A shared commitment to our students

Although we do not yet know how many staff were on strike, we recognise that our staff have had to make difficult choices about whether or not to take industrial action, especially given their concerns over our students. 

We would like to emphasise that we value the professionalism of all our staff, and we know that we share a commitment to the best interests of our students, ensuring they are able to make up any lost learning opportunities and so continue successfully with their studies.

We expect that our staff will prioritise helping students who may have missed teaching in achieving their intended learning outcomes – this can be done in a number of ways and is outlined in the further information below.

Karen Heaton

Director of Human Resources

Further information