Strike Bulletin 5


Our pickets and daily rally continue to be great, with visits from fellow trades unionists and from YUSU, who brought round tea and coffee   – thanks guys !

We also had over 40 people at our strike meeting at the Crescent Venue where we had the chance to talk over how things are going and put together ideas. Some of the main points discussed were :-

  • ideas about how colleagues in non student facing roles can show how they are supporting the strike: as well as putting up the ‘out of office’ message which we have suggested on your e-mail you can also write to any outside bodies with whom you work, explaining why you have gone on strike for 8 days (you can use UCUs local and national material) and urging them to write to UCEA, UUK, and our VC urging them to start serious negotiations: you can also publicise the message which York UCU has sent to students.
  • ideas for extending the picket period by having a ‘second shift’ after our daily rally: our picket organisers will be in touch with members about this: we also wanted to encourage those who can’t make it to the picket lines to share tweets or other messages and pictures to show support.
  • plans to support the climate events on Friday: after our daily rally we will go to meet the students, who will be assembling in Market Square to go into town for the events taking place there. We thought that rather than going onto campus to join the event which the VC is planning we would invite him to bring people to join us and the students.
  • discussion of how the dispute is going: everyone was very clear that while we are pleased that talks with UCEA have begun, we need real progress on our claim and will continue our action as long as needed. It was stressed that our members need a better deal on casualisation, gender pay, workloads, low pay, and pensions, but also know that in standing up for these demands they are standing up for students and for universities’ contribution to the public good.

    SO – morale is great and we are going forward. Colleagues are joining the union every day. Keep up the strike activities and come to hear the speakers at our rallies – a climate emergency speaker and we hope the MP for York on Friday, our joint President on Monday, the UCU General Secretary on Tuesday, and our UK President on Wednesday.
    And don’t forget the teachouts by colleagues and students in History on Friday, by the students and by the Centre for Women’s Studies next week – all in the Heslington Village Community Hall.




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