Academic and related staff in the University and College Union (UCU) will be on strike on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 11, 12 and 13 October.
We know that students will be concerned about the impact the strike is likely to have and we want to explain what is happening and why.
What happens when there is a strike?
When taking strike action, staff do not go into work. This means that lectures and other classes will be cancelled and not rescheduled. Members will not receive any pay for the three days when on strike. Many staff will inform you in advance of the cancellations. We are holding a three day “teach out” (Striking Insights) over the strike period – look out for details coming soon!
Why are University staff taking this action?
We are in dispute with University of Leeds management over their plan to introduce new undefined grounds for dismissing staff – ‘Some Other Substantial Reason’ (SOSR). Existing dismissal grounds are capability, ill health, misconduct, redundancy.
Academic freedom is a key concern because academics do research as well as teaching. Academic freedom is vitally important for independent, cutting edge research – it allows us to put forward new or controversial ideas or theories without the fear of losing our jobs. If the ‘SOSR’ clause is introduced, companies with vested interests might persuade the University to dismiss a researcher or suppress their research findings.
UCU has had lengthy talks with management, but they refuse to remove the clause so our members have voted to take strike action.
Our members are the people who support, teach, conduct research and provide a world-class education for thousands of students and we are passionate about what we do. But we cannot stand by in the face of a threat to the very heart of what a University is about. For further detail: http://www.leedsucu.org.uk/archives/2407
University management could end this dispute today
The Some Other Substantial Reason clause for dismissing staff is totally unnecessary. If the University drops its proposal then disruption will be avoided.
What can you do?
- Email your Vice Chancellor asking him to withdraw the contentious SOSR proposal to avoid strike action: Vice-Chancellor@leeds.ac.uk
- Sign our petition http://tinyurl.com/yak6zbwe
- Sign and email this postcard to firstname.lastname@example.org: http://www.leedsucu.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/SOSR-Postcard-A5.pdf
- Talk to your Students’ Union about how you can get involved.
- Speak with your lecturers and other university staff and let them know you support them.