Friday’s Update and further information on Strike Action and ASOS

We finished our week with windy pickets and a rally that included both Julie Kelley, our regional officer and Rachael Maskell MP. Both gave us inspiring speeches and finished the week with a bang. UCU University of York is out on strike and making a difference. After a week of staff and student solidarity we can have a weekend of rest and reflection.

Our fight continues on Monday and Tuesday next week. See you on the pickets.

We start at 08:30am at each of the four picketing sites:

  • The Retreat Entrance
  • Newton Way (Behind James College, near to the sports centre)
  • Campus East (next to the bus stops)
  • Kings Manor (in town)

At 10:30am we have a rally at Heslington Hall. Anyone who wants to can speak.

Note – these are changes from the times advertised last week.

We encourage the bringing of cakes, hot drinks, dogs, children, anything that makes noise (e.g. pots and pans) and Vice Chancellors to the picket line. It all adds to the atmosphere and from experience, it is an invaluable chance to talk with colleagues from other departments and places in the university that you don’t interact with on a day-to-day basis.

Branch strike diary – to be updated in each day’s email.

Details also placed on the branch Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/UcuYork (note, for those who don’t know Twitter, you don’t need an account to view the feed.)

Monday 21st February 2022

  • Pickets and rally as advertised above. This includes a visit by Julie Kelley, our regional UCU officer.
  • Teach out organised by the Politics Department: ‘Classism and Cost of Living Crisis’.
    1300-1600 at the Crescent Community Venue in York, on the Crescent, off Blossom Street.

This event is in two parts, each with a panel and a chance for Q and As.

Tuesday 22nd February 2022

  • Pickets and rally as advertised above. This includes a visit by Julie Kelley, our regional UCU officer.

Note – all teach outs are open to all, including UCU members, non-member staff, students and the general public.

Strike and ASOS information

We have been asked a number of questions about strike action and ASOS.

  1. Can GTAs claim for lost earnings when they strike?
    You can claim from the national and local funds. See our website for details. Nobody should cross the picket due to money concerns. https://york.web.ucu.org.uk/local-hardship-fund-february-march-2020/
  2. When I come back to work will I need to restore access to lecture and teaching materials for students? Will I need to reschedule teaching?
    No. Our ASOS includes the provision to not provide materials for teaching sessions that are lost due to the strike. Also, all teaching lost in the strike is just that, lost, there will not be rescheduling. This includes supervisions.
  3. Do I need to tell my employer that I have been on strike?
    Ultimately yes, but not until we go back after each bout of action. This means from Wednesday 23rd this time. HR have said that if you report being absent this week by Friday 18th February then the deductions for this will be made on your February wages.

If you have any other questions about the strike or action short of a strike, please email us. We also want to hear about any actions by management in relation to the strike and action short of a strike.

See you on the pickets and solidarity,

The UCU UOY Executive

Wednesday’s Strike Information – get to the pickets and teach out!

Today, members of the UCU exec met with Graduate Student Association Officers for a solidarity meeting. We welcome the GSA’s support and indeed that of YUSU. Our working conditions are student learning conditions and so joint action is essential to overcome the negative decisions and actions of senior managers.

We remind members that The UCU President, Vicky Blake, is in York on Wednesday and will be at the pickets, speaking at the rally and will be at the teach out. If you are only coming out for one day this week to the pickets, Wednesday should be it. Bring along something that you can make noise with!

Further, on Friday, Julie Kelley, is at our pickets to bring regional solidarity.

We also request that if anyone wishes to present/lead a discussion/take part in the Archaeology teach out on Thursday on the subjects of ‘nationalism and building identities’, please get in touch.

If you were not out on the pickets today, do consider coming along tomorrow or Wednesday. We start at 0830am at each of the four sites:

  • The Retreat Entrance
  • Newton Way (Behind James College, near to the sports centre)
  • Campus East (next to the bus stops)
  • Kings Manor (in town)

At 1030am we have a rally at Heslington Hall. Anyone who wants to can speak.

Note – these are changes from the times advertised last week.

On the map attached to this email the three red triangles are picket sites and the blue triangle is the rally point (for staff who are new to York and may not have visited campus).

We encourage the bringing of cakes, hot drinks, dogs, children, anything that makes noise (e.g. pots and pans) and Vice Chancellors to the picket line. It all adds to the atmosphere and from experience, it is an invaluable chance to talk with colleagues from other departments and places in the university that you don’t interact with on a day-to-day basis.

Branch strike diary – to be updated in each day’s email.

Details also placed on the branch Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/UcuYork (note, for those who don’t know Twitter, you don’t need an account to view the feed.)

Wednesday 16th February 2022

  • Pickets and rally as advertised above. Vicky Blake, our UCU national president will be at the pickets and will speak at the rally.
  • Teach out organised by the Management School The Management School union members are holding a virtual teachout on Wednesday the 16th at noon on the TumsUcu Tube live stream, https://youtube.com/channel/UCOKWobNm4-J2PvLaiiH6fVg
  • Teach out organised by the Politics Department: ‘Migration and Racism’ which includes Rachel Maskell MP.
    1300-1600 at the Crescent Community Venue in York, on the Crescent, off Blossom Street.

This event is in two parts, each with a panel:
Panel 1 – Rachel Maskell MP, Simon Parker, Sara De Jong, Fazia Ehzani.
Panel 2 – Zarah Sharif, Mel Williams, Emilia Chalmers, Susy Williams.

Thursday 17th February 2022

  • Pickets and rally as advertised above.
  • Teach out organised by the Archaeology department, ‘Nationalism and building identities’.
    10.45-12.30 at St Olave’s Meeting Rooms. Twitter: @ArchSocYork

Friday 18th February 2022

  • Pickets and rally as advertised above. This includes a visit by Julie Kelley, our regional UCU officer.

Note – all teach outs are open to all, including UCU members, non-member staff, students and the general public.

In solidarity

UCU UOY Executive

Tuesday’s strike information and this week’s strike diary

Today, we began sending our message loud and clear to our VC, his senior team, to the whole of UUK, to UCEA, to our students, to our sister unions, and to our community, that we will not stand by while our VC and his team, as part of UUK and UCEA, degrade our pensions. They promote intergenerational unfairness and fail to act as custodians of our university and more broadly what a ‘university’ should be. We have acted because they have not. Shame on him, his team and on their peers in other universities. Solidarity to all of you.

We are delighted and excited to announce that we have a visitor to our pickets and teach out on Wednesday. The UCU President, Vicky Blake, is in York on Wednesday and will be at the pickets, speaking at the rally and will be at the teach out. If you are only coming out for one day this week to the pickets, Wednesday should be it.

Further, on Friday, Julie Kelley, is at our pickets to bring regional solidarity.

If you were not out on the pickets today, do consider coming along tomorrow or Wednesday. We start at 08:30 am at each of the four sites:

  • The Retreat Entrance
  • Newton Way (Behind James College, near to the sports centre)
  • Campus East (next to the bus stops)
  • Kings Manor (in town)

At 1030am we have a rally at Heslington Hall. Anyone who wants can speak.

Note – these are changes from the previously advertised times.

We encourage the bringing of cakes, hot drinks, dogs, children and Vice Chancellors to the picket line. It all adds to the atmosphere and from experience, it is an invaluable chance to talk with colleagues from other departments and places in the university that you don’t interact with on a day-to-day basis.

Branch strike diary – to be updated in each day’s email.

Details also placed on the branch Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/UcuYork (note, for those who don’t know Twitter, you don’t need an account to view the feed.)

Tuesday 15th February 2022

  • Pickets and rally as advertised above.
  • Teach out by the Archaeology Department – ‘Activism and Research’
    10.45-12.30 at St Olave’s Meeting Rooms. Twitter: @ArchSocYork

Wednesday 16th February 2022

  • Pickets and rally as advertised above. Vicky Blake, our UCU national president will be at the pickets and will speak at the rally.
  • Teach out organised by the Management School The Management School union members are holding a virtual teachout on Wednesday the 16th at noon on the TumsUcu Tube live stream, https://youtube.com/channel/UCOKWobNm4-J2PvLaiiH6fVg
  • Teach out organised by the Politics Department: ‘Migration and Racism’ which includes Rachel Maskell MP.
    1300-1600 at the Crescent Community Venue in York, on the Crescent, off Blossom Street.

This event is in two parts, each with a panel:
Panel 1 – Rachel Maskell MP, Simon Parker, Sara De Jong, Fazia Ehzani.
Panel 2 – Zarah Sharif, Mel Williams, Emilia Chalmers, Susy Williams.

Thursday 17th February 2022

  • Pickets and rally as advertised above.
  • Teach out organised by the Archaeology department, ‘Nationalism and building identities’.
    10.45-12.30 at St Olave’s Meeting Rooms. Twitter: @ArchSocYork

Friday 18th February 2022

  • Pickets and rally as advertised above. This includes a visit by Julie Kelley, our regional UCU officer.

Note – all teach outs are open to all, including UCU members, non-member staff, students and the general public.

Questions asked by members:

  • Should I remove materials that may enable students to access the learning contained in taught sessions that are lost due to strike action?
    UCU have notified that all materials related to teaching lost due to strike action should be removed, taken down, and not subsequently shared. This is to ensure strikes have impact. If you still have materials up, including lecture capture content, we encourage you to take it down.
  • I feel guilty about striking due to my students being affected, what should I do?
    The issues we are striking on are bigger than now, bigger than this student generation and frankly, bigger than us. We are striking for a reversal of a decade and more of attacks on our pensions, pay, conditions and what it means to work in a university. Enough is enough. Students will be disrupted, but if we don’t act our jobs, their learning and the idea of a public good university will be a thing of the past.
  • Students want to support me and us, what can they do?
    o   Write to the VC stating why they support UCU action – vc@york.ac.uk
    o   Write to the GSA or YUSU, as applicable, stating support for UCU action
    o   State public support on social media & tag UCU branch locally and nationally
    o   Tell fellow students of their support and why they support our actions.
    o   Come to the picket lines as ‘visitors’.
    o   Ask teaching staff who are not teaching why they are not striking.
    o   Come to teach outs.
    o   Write to their MP, here or at home, stating support for UCU actions.
  • I have not been to a picket line before, what will it be like?
    o   It is a great opportunity to talk to fellow members, share stories, build friendships, and feel empowered.
    o   We talk to students, to staff who want to cross the picket line and to the public, always explaining why we are striking.
    o   Cold – sorry, but it is, but layers and comradely spirit, alongside a flask of tea help!

We hope to see many of you on the pickets this week and next. If you cannot make it but are on strike, solidarity to you, we will be with you in spirit. If you are not striking, we encourage you to join us in forcing our employer to see they have to act on the gross unfairness and inexplicable treatment we are being subjected to.

Also and importantly, note previously sent information about national and local strike funds. Access them if you need – we don’t want people to not strike due to financial considerations.

Solidarity to you all.

UOY UCU Executive