Strike Bulletin 7


Maybe our employers think our energy is running down – but if so they are WRONG

People are joining pickets – and joining the union. Lots of us have been going to our teach-outs and came to hear our General Secretary speak at today’s rally.

We need our employers to listen and to act NOW

At UK level we expect some real progress on meeting our claims on pension policy, on precarious working, on gender justice and poor pay.

At York we expect our employer to agree the staggered deductions to our pay packets requested by UCU, as happened here in 2018, and as is happening now in Sheffield and at other universities.

We want them to withdraw the intrusive and inappropriate form which they are asking staff to fill in, providing information about how they plan to implement “action short of a strike” for which a large majority of member voted in our ballot. Completion of that section of the form has been linked to completion of the part of that form where we are asked to declare on which days we took strike action This is an adversarial and intimidating approach, which puts unfair pressure on staff, and is not in the spirit of mutual respect which the VC and director of HR have told us they wish to maintain.

Our advice to members is the following: DO NOT complete the form which you have been sent, but instead send the following e-mail to your line manager and to the Director of HR on 5 December : –

“Dear colleagues,

As you know, I am not required to provide advance information about actions which I might take in pursuit of the next stage of the industrial action which I am lawfully undertaking, as outlined in the dispute letter, and in the material sent to members as part of our successful statutory ballot. I am of course happy to let you know that I was taking strike action on [insert the days on which you were on strike]

Your UCU presidents will be raising these important local matters with the VC when we meet him tomorrow.

Meanwhile stay involved, stay strong, and come to the events planned for our last strike day, which include pickets, teach-outs and a rally where our UK President and an FE colleague will be speaking – a great upbeat end to this phase of our dispute.



Strike Bulletin 6


Our pickets and daily rally stayed strong on Friday – we are the University!

In this bulletin: 29 Nov climate strike, rotas for later picketing, social media, upcoming teach-outs

Rotas for later picketing

Our 8am-10am picket lines are not a good time for all members. So, following up on a suggestion from Wednesday’s meeting, a second 11am-1pm picket is being organised. If you would like to picket 11am-1pm please email stating where you would be prepared to picket and on which days. It is important to do this, so we can ensure a reasonable number of people are on any picket line for this ‘second shift’. (Our 1030am rallies at Heslington Hall will continue as before.)

UCU joins the Climate Strike

Fresh from the picket line on Friday, UCU members picked up their “Climate Change is a Trade Union Issue” placards and joined with students to march from the University to the climate strike protest in St Helen’s square. There we joined a lively and informative protest where one of our members Jasper Kenter spoke eloquently on the need to take action on this crucial issue.

Social Media

  • There’s a lot going on while we are on strike! Keep up with events by following us on Twitter @UcuYork
  • We are also in the process of revamping our FB page:

Upcoming Teach Outs

  • 2.30pm – 3.45pm, Monday 2 December, Heslington Village Hall. Resisting Contemporary Colonial Regimes: The cases of the Sahrawis, Palestinians and Kurds ( )
  • 11am, Tuesday 3 December, Eagle & Child (2nd floor). Archaeology Teach Out: Neoliberalism, Marketization & Education
  • 11am-1pm, Tuesday 3 December, Heslington Village Hall. Politics Teach Out
  • 2pm-5pm, Tuesday 3 December, Heslington Village Hall. Centre for Women’s Studies Teach Out


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.