Why are we striking?
The strike was notified to further the 4 Fights dispute. As announced late last week, UCU Higher Education Committee did agree to permit branches the ability to apply to stand down the strike. However, at Leeds there has been no movement on locally implementable points of claim where we have dual track (collective sectoral and local) bargaining. The University has merely restated agreement to meet to do what they already agreed to do in 2022. We note that we have already had cause to lodge a Failure To Agree regarding the lack of progress over a pay spine review and aspects of work on precarity including conditions of employment for hourly paid and postgraduate workers. Marking and Assessment Boycott deductions remain at a punitive level, with members required to complete marking for half pay.
On Friday morning representatives of University senior management finally confirmed that they are willing to set a date for a meeting on locally implementable pay related conditions – something they have delayed for over a year since agreeing to take action on these issues following our local dispute and MAB in 2022. However, they have confirmed that their position on punitive MAB deductions is that “no further concessions are considered necessary or appropriate”.
The branch thus resolves to strike through welcome week – a prospect Leeds management are extremely worried about – or until we have a firm commitment from management to improve the situation of marking and assessment boycott participants and our hourly paid staff. We are regretful to strike as new students arrive, but we look forward to demonstrating the strength of collective action against injustice. We especially look forward to striking with our sister unions on Friday 29th September.
That said, our hope is that management will take this opportunity to commit to pay staff in full for marking and assessment, and take concrete actions to improve the conditions of staff, and therefore students, at the University of Leeds, and avoid the need for a welcome week strike. We encourage members to stand together in solidarity and show our students another way forward – the solidarity of union members standing up for their working conditions and student learning conditions.
This page was last updated on 24 September 2023