Information for students who might need to avoid noise and crowds. (Requested by LUU Neurodivergent Society.)
Usually on the UCU strike days there will be picket lines on entrances to the university campus from 7.30am to 11.30am and there will be an end-of-picket rally from 11.30am until around 12 midday.
A picket line is two or more UCU members, with identifying picket armbands and usually placards, standing outside an entrance to the campus. The pickets are there to dissuade UCU members from breaking the strike which has been democratically voted for. UCU members are expected not to cross (go past) the picket line. You may be asked if you are a UCU member, and, if you are a UCU member, you may be asked to support the strike by not going onto campus and not doing any work on the strike day.
The pickets will also let other staff and students know about the reasons for the strike, usually by handing out leaflets.
If you’re not in the UCU constituency and not a UCU member you’re not expected to strike, but you may be asked to decline any request to carry out any work normally done by someone who is on strike. The UCU constituency is academic staff, including postgraduate students due to teach that day, and academic-related (or ‘professional and managerial’) staff. If you’re in the UCU constituency but not yet a UCU member you may be encouraged to join the union and support the strike.
Most picket lines are not noisy but some are – it will depend which members picket that day and where they decide to picket. Some pickets may play music, sing, chant or bang pots and pans. Based on recent strikes, the picket lines which tend to be noisier are those around the Business School – Moorland Road and Clarendon Road. There are likely to be a few musicians – a strike orchestra – often playing on the Parkinson steps.
The picket organisers will aim to have deliberately quiet picket lines on the engineering entrances of Clarendon Road (along from the traffic lights with the Library pub).
There will be a running picket, a group running round the circumference of the campus, from 9.30am until up to 11.30am, with placards and sometimes music.
The end-of-picket rallies are on or near the Parkinson steps from 11.30am until approximately 12 midday. There may be amplified music, speeches, singing and maybe even dancing.
UCU members who have signed up to picket are asked about accessibility so the union can make the necessary arrangements. If you’re not a member and there is something the union could do which would to enable you to show your support please let the branch administrator know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or, on the strike day, by speaking to a picket supervisor who will be at the pink gazebo near the Parkinson steps.
Original version of this post published 29 November 2021.
This page was last updated on 7 February 2023