From all-members email 25 November 2021
This email is about pickets, what we are doing and how people can join in.
(and then some other pre-strike stuff)
We will be maintaining our usual practice of picketing as many entrances as possible of the campus next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. For those who are new or unfamiliar with this, a picket is a group of strikers who stand at the entrance of the workplace to make people aware of the strike and persuade (peacefully!) people to not cross the line. Picketing is legal and our pickets are friendly and fun – please come along whether you are long standing picketter or this is your first time. Pickets are a fantastic opportunity to build solidarity and meet others. We picket from 7.30am – 11.30am. We understand that many people cannot arrive until later in that period, but if you are able to come from 7:30 or 8am please do so so we can be there when people arrive in the morning.
If you want to picket in person please sign up – this is extra important this time because of contact tracing. The link is here https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=x7sla-g7S0KySQb82NdiaNICVYU2x7RDvUK_2a_SumpUOTRWOTlEOUJCWFo0WjQyUUFKRUozV0ZNUS4u
It’s fine to sign up and then not come if something comes up unexpectedly – if you decide to come in at the last minute, please sign up. Please also sign in on the day at the Pink Gazebo at the Woodhouse Lane entrance to campus.
We are hoping to resurrect our famous Running Picket – where pickets run around the perimeter of campus – please let me know if you want to be part of organising that.
Many members, perhaps more than usual, due to COVID-19 will not be able to join us in person and I want to ensure that they feel the solidarity just as much. Committee are putting together different ways in which we can raise awareness and join in together – including maybe a Virtual Running Picket. Any other ideas welcome. And please let us know if you have any accessibility needs. There is quiet space and toilets in the Chaplaincy Centre and we are getting a room in the Quaker meeting house for people to use to rest and have some quiet as well. We have some seating as well.
In order to be as inclusive as we can, we are changing slightly the way that we do rallies. We will on Friday have a big end of strike rally at 11:30 on Parkinson Steps – it will be socially distanced but we hope to have speakers, noise and possibly a bit of singing. On Wednesday and Thursday we will gather and talk at the end but not have a big rally. Instead, on those days we will have Zoom rallies for all those who couldn’t join us in person – we will share details nearer the time. We will also have a informal branch meeting on Friday afternoon about working to contract. There will also be some briefings in relation to the hardship fund.
On Wednesday, our comrades from Unison will be bringing along hot sandwiches and solidarity which is always welcome. We also expect a BBC film crew so please do turn up colourful and cheerful. We will of course have placards – but the best placards are home made ones so have a go and bring them along. (you can find invaluable advice on doing this and much much more in this guide from 2020 http://jbsumner.com/StrikeHandbook.pdf)
Finally, we have an Action Group which meets to discuss and plan these kinds of actions during strike time – to find out about meetings and activities, join this list by emailing anything to firstname.lastname@example.org. To leave the action group mailing list email anything to email@example.com
Resources, including out of office messages and email signatures
· Leeds Uni UCU Strike page: https://www.leedsucu.org.uk/
· Leeds UCU slides for students: https://www.leedsucu.org.uk/slides-for-students-about-the-industrial-action/
· Tik Tok clips: https://t.co/vhKOZewGOy?amp=1
· National UCU Resources: https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/9144/BTU-branch-resources
· Out of Office message for strike days – feel free to modify: I am on strike today in support of my trade union’s (UCU) disputes with our employers over cuts of 35% to guaranteed pensions, pay cuts, casualisation, equality pay gaps and unsafe workloads.
· Email Signature – feel free to modify: I support the UCU industrial action over cuts of 35% to guaranteed pensions, pay cuts, casualisation, equality pay gaps and unsafe workloads.
· Join the picket Whatsapp group (mainly used on strike days)
Stay at home if you have symptoms of COVID-19. These include any of the following:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should also take a PCR test. Anyone who has had a recent positive PCR test should stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days from the first day that their symptoms started.
We ask that all colleagues take a rapid lateral flow test every day before attending picketing or rallies. If any lateral flow test is positive, please do not attend any of the picketing or rallies, and take a PCR test.
Colleagues picketing and attending rallies should carry and use hand sanitiser often. We expect most colleagues will have their own supply of hand sanitiser which they should bring with them, but supplies of hand sanitiser will be available from the Leeds UCU picket HQ near the university main entrance.
The use of face coverings when picketing outside and during outdoor rallies is optional, provided that social distancing is maintained. Where social distancing cannot be maintained, please wear a face covering. For any indoor activity such as getting refreshments or comfort breaks, please wear a face covering unless you are exempt or it is not practical to do so (such as consuming food or drink). We expect that many colleagues will already have face coverings and if so, please bring these with you. However supplies of cloth face coverings will be available from the Leeds UCU picket HQ near the university main entrance.
More details, timings etc will be sent out soon
Dr Chloe Wallace
Associate Professor in Law
School of Law
University of Leeds
Co-Director, Centre for Innovation and Research in Legal Education
Programme Leader, School of Law 4 year programmes
President, Leeds University UCU
This page was last updated on 30 November 2021