Strike Bulletin 4


It’s been great to see as many people [and dogs !] at our pickets and rally on Tuesday as there were on Monday. If anyone doubted our determination they can think again !

We may have been a bit damp, but our voices and views are in no way dampened. We feel as strongly as ever about our employers’ failure to deal seriously with our claims to tackle insecure working, gender injustice, pay and pensions, and workloads. And we’ll keep up the pressure until the employers start to take this as seriously as we do.

This isn’t a “lecturers strike” or an issue which only affects academics Whatever jobs we do in the university we all face the problems which we want our employers to get down to tackling. They need to do so BOTH because they should treat staff decently, AND because their failure to do so damages our ability to do our teaching, research, and professional work to our full capacity.

UCU have been making these arguments for a long while and members are now at the point when we are raising the pressure in order to get some real results.

  • When members tell us that they can’t meet deadlines for the professional tasks which they undertake to support academics because those academics are so overworked that they can’t meet them either, we know that there is a workload problem; 


  • When two early career colleagues say that only one of them can afford to join the strike because they have a family to support, we know that there are low pay and casualisation issues; 


  • When postgraduates who teach are being told that they will have to work beyond their contracts in order to catch up on marking after the strike we know that there is something badly wrong with how their work is managed;
  • Remember too that staff working conditions are student learning conditions, and that what is good for staff is good for the core activities which people outside the university as well as inside it want done as well as possible;


SO – we urge all members to keep up the industrial action, to attend our branch meeting on Wednesday [13.00 at The Crescent Venue], to come to our pickets and rallies [lots of good speakers to come] and to the teach-outs already advertised.

Our employers are beginning to talk to us, so our voice needs to go on being loud


Strike Bulletin 3

Monday 25 November
What a brilliant start to our strike  !! 

  • Lots of people [and dogs!] on the pickets and at our first rally 
  • wonderful solidarity from our students, from other campus unions, from the Labour Party, and from passing cars and buses


  • Loud voices reminding our management that WE are the university


  • members putting up our strike message on their automatic e-mail response


  • brilliant teach-out by Politics Department colleagues 


  • keep withdrawing your labour 
  • come to the picket lines and/or the daily rallies if you can


  • come to our branch strike meeting on Wednesday at 13.00 in The Crescent Venue, 8 the Crescent, York, YO24 1AW which is behind the Everyman Cinema on Blossom Street


  • visit the teach-outs in Heslington Meeting Rooms [opposite the Deramore Arms in Heslington village] –  organised by colleagues from Law & Management 11.00 -15.00 on Thursday 28 November, by colleagues from History from 1100 -17.00 on Friday 29 November and colleagues from Women’s Studies next week: these are UCU staff showing how they contribute to, and care about, teaching, learning and research –  so DO support them


  • plan ahead to come and hear from our UCU General Secretary, who will visit us on Tuesday 3 December, and from our UK President who will be coming to York on Wednesday 4 November 

Our branch executive thanks you all for your efforts.

We all care about gender inequity, casualisation and excessive workloads, and about poor pay and pensions in universities.

We are taking action to press employers to work with us to get genuine progress on these issues, not to be told that [as our VC put it] that they are “disappointed” that we are standing up for staff and for the future of universities.

We put ourselves on the line for a good cause: it’s time for the employers to respond

KEEP GOING      *     OUR CAUSE IS JUST        

Strike Bulletin 2

Dear members

Six things to do to support our action

As we move to the start of industrial action, we are all thinking about how best each of us can support it.

  • We can and should withdraw our labour 
  • We can join our daily picket lines and rallies. If personal circumstances stop you doing so, send us supportive messages/selfies to circulate.
  • We can put up a message on our ‘out of office’ e-mail, saying‘I am currently in dispute with my employer over their failure to support serious talks with my union, UCU, about our claims for improvements to our pensions and pay, including gender inequity, insecure work, and excessive workloads. I shall not be working from 25 to 29 November, or from 2 to 4 December inclusive. My replies to e-mails will therefore be delayed.’ 
  • We can attend or participate in the wonderful teach-outs taking place in Heslington village hall during next week  [see attached]
  • We can communicate with students so that they understand why we are disrupting their studies [see attached]
  • We can write to the Vice-Chancellor urging him to use his best efforts to press UUK and UCEA to return to meaningful negotiations.
  • Come to the branch meeting to be held on Wednesday 27 November at 1.00 pm at The Crescent Venue, 8 the Crescent, York, YO24 1AW [it’s behind the Everyman Cinema on Blossom Street.

 Other Information

  • Members have been worried about when they should inform managers about when they have taken strike action: the Director of HR has made it clear that while HR can ask us to provide this information on a day by day basis, they cannot require us to do so. UCU therefore continues to say that members should provide information about their strike action when the 8 days strikes are over, when managers ask them for it.
  • Don’t forget about the UK strike fund and our local hardship fund Those in need can apply to these funds, those who can are urged to donate to the funds. 
  • We are pressing management to do as they did in 2018 and to stagger any deductions they may make from our pay and we will keep you posted about our progress.
  • In order to show that our strike is backed by all categories of UCU members at York we invite colleagues in professional and support posts to give messages of support at our rallies next week. Anyone who would like to do this is encouraged to contact 


University of York UCU