Here’s some advice for your first day back after a period of fantastic striking:
1) Read the Industrial Action FAQ
It has a lot of information in it, so please check it to see if it answers any questions you have.
2) Remember we are working to contract as part of Action Short Of Strike
Please make sure you observe it. We know from previous phases of ASOS that members tend to find it a bit odd at first, working only their “nominal” contracted hours (7.5 per day) and actually taking breaks. We hear taking breaks, having a lunch hour, and not working until the small hours is good for you…
3) Report (only) the strike action you have taken so far
Use the HR self-service system if you can. Members working off-campus will need to log onto the remote access desktop via Citrix to get the HR self-service to work. If you can’t get the HR self-service and/or Citrix to work, use the specific IndustrialAction@leeds.ac.uk email address if you can’t get it to work. HR have given a deadline of 2pm to do this, despite UCU’s formal notification of our serious concerns over the tight timescale that has been decreed. Please feel free to copy in email@example.com (mark emails “industrial action notification”).
N.B. Please read our guidance [here] and [here] in conjunction with the letter from the Director of HR [15 February]
The text of the email from the Director of HR is linked [here]. If anything about the online HR self-service system does not work for you, or if you want to make absolutely sure that the details are correct, you can email them via IndustrialAction@leeds.ac.uk.
4) Do not report on any upcoming strike action yet
You are under no obligation to do so. Reporting early serves only to undermine the strength of the action. However we do recommend you continue to talk to your students about the industrial action [link to student resources].
5) If asked whether you are participating in ASOS, simply state:
“I am participating in UCU Action Short Of Strike as is my legal right. Action short of a strike began on 22 February at the same time as the strike action and continues until the union calls it off.
For this dispute, ASOS means I will:
– work to contract;
– not cover for absent colleagues;
– not reschedule lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action;
– not undertake any voluntary activities
– abide strictly by the terms of my contract of employment.”
6) If asked about whether you will strike again / what the impact is likely to be of further strikes, simply state:
“All activities during the four weeks of strike action are potentially at risk. Students can expect to miss teaching during those four weeks, and research and administrative activities will also be at risk. UCU members are not required to inform management of their participation in strike action in advance, although anyone taking strike action will declare their participation after the strike days.”
7) Dealing with further questions / pressure
If you are pressed for further details of whether you plan to take further strike action, or if pressure is exerted upon you wherein you feel uncomfortable or as though you are being treated with detriment for taking legally called industrial action you can:
Inform the other party you are unable to continue the interaction until you can arrange to have a union rep present and/or take union advice
Ring the UCU office on x35904 (external: 0113 343 5904)
Email firstname.lastname@example.org (mark the email “industrial action detriment”)
It is unacceptable (and unlawful) for anyone to suffer discrimination as a result of their trade union membership.
8) Assess whether you are in a position to donate to hardship / fighting funds
We have received some generous donations to the local hardship fund from members and recently retired members already. Some members continue to ask how to donate as they feel able to weather the deductions and want to help others. Please email email@example.com if you wish to do this (mark the email “DONATE TO HARDSHIP FUND”).
9) Assess whether (and if so, when) you might need to apply for financial assistance
UCU relies on the goodwill and charity of better-off members either not to apply for financial assistance, or to wait until the point at which they will be adversely affected by deductions before they do so. Please be assured that if you feel you will be hit disproportionately by strike deductions (especially if you are concerned about your ability to observe the strike without assistance), your personal situation will be taken into account.
Please do read [this post] (and guidance linked therein) which explains the remit of the UCU National Fighting Fund and our local Hardship Fund.
When to apply?
We have been advised by HR that all salaried staff who take strike action will see all the deductions made in the March payroll, which means February’s pay should look “normal”. HOWEVER, hourly paid members who are paid using a time-sheet system (eg postgraduate TAs) may have already lost pay from February due to strike action.
If deductions have been made from your February pay, please fill in [this form] and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, marking the subject as “FEBRUARY STRIKE DEDUCTIONS”, making sure to attach relevant evidence (as described). The form asks you to describe/evidence:
Which hours you would usually have been paid for *in February* (please provide a brief overview, using a rota / letter of contract / statement of hours as evidence)
How you have evidenced strike action taken (attach a screenshot of your HR self-service strike report or a copy of your email notification to IndustrialAction@leeds.ac.uk)
Your usual weekly* pay from the University of Leeds (*or other suitable period)
How much pay you have lost (don’t forget things like preparation time)
Any further information about your personal financial circumstances you believe to be relevant
Call the UCU Office on x35904 (external: 0113 343 5904) or email us on email@example.com