Our industrial action continues

This week, on Tuesday 14, Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 February.

Picket lines are a show of strength and solidarity and we ask all members who are able to join the picket line to do so. Children are welcome too – particularly during half term or when teachers are on strike. We have pavement chalk! Children’s safety is, of course, the responsibility of their parents/carers.

There will be pickets from 08:15-11:00am on every strike day at University Park South and West Entrances, as well as Jubilee Campus Derby Road entrance.

This week we need to show our strength and determination to support our negotiators in the room with UCEA and UUK. Join us! Never cross a picket line!

Love your staff – March and rally on Wed 15 Feb, 12 noon UP South

Love your staff! On Wednesday 15 February we will march and rally to demand that our university love their staff! Because we don’t buy into the commercial exploitation of love on Valentine’s Day, we march on Slap Day! Homemade placards and themed chants encouraged, email or tweet us your ideas or join the collective brainstorming on the pickets on Tues 14 Feb.

The march will set off from University Park South Entrance at 12 noon and follow the route in the attached, high tech map. There will be two stops for short speeches outside Chemistry building and on Portland steps.

We want to be seen and heard, so make sure you come adequately prepared.

Online solidarity space – Tues 14 Feb and Thurs 16 Feb

We understand that some members are not able to be on the picket line due to disability, health conditions, caring responsibilities and/or distance. We will have a zoom room open between 09:00-10:30 as a space of online solidarity, it is open to anybody who wants to drop in to chat and keep each other company or to ask any questions about ongoing action and its impact.

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 817 1338 8840

Passcode: 823426

Next week…

If we still have to strike next week (Tues 21, Wed 22, Thurs 23) to protect our pay and pensions, we are planning following events:

Tues 21, 2pm – online meeting with UCU national negotiators in both disputes (confirmed so far: Mark Taylor-Batty, Jackie Grant, Deepa Driver and Marian Mayer)

Wed 22 – we march again

There are also these two events organised by the independent Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice (CSSGJ):

20 February at 6 p.m. via Zoom: River Butterworth (SU Education Officer) – Demilitarise UoN: Why the University is not committed to human rights. For a free ticket, register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/demilitarise-uon-why-the-university-is-not-committed-to-human-rights-tickets-515309122457?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

27 February at 6 p.m. via Zoom: Steve Battlemuch (Head of Campaigns PCS and local Labour Party Councillor) – Strikes are back – Can they win? For a free ticket, register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/strikes-are-back-can-they-win-tickets-545937452617?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

National fighting fund

Members taking part in industrial action can make a claim from UCU’s national fighting fund.

Payment from the National UCU fighting fund is made:

  • in the sum of £50 for the second and subsequent days of strike action for members earning £30,000 gross or more per annum (this is subject to a cap of 11 days. This will be kept under review); and,
  • in the sum of up to £75 for the second and subsequent days of strike action for members earning less than £30,000 gross per annum (this is subject to a cap of 11 days. This will be kept under review).

In order to make a claim to the Natonal Fighting Fund members need to:

  • be paying subscriptions at the correct rate (if any subscription is payable);
  • have participated in official strike action for which officers have agreed to make funds available; and,
  • provide evidence of deduction from your salary or loss of earnings for strike action.

The current HE dispute (UCU Rising) started on 24 November. 1 February is the fourth day of action.

Local Hardship Fund

Further support is available to members who face financial hardship via the local hardship fund. We can provide up to £25 per day.

By ‘hardship’ we mean colleagues who will genuinely struggle to cover everyday costs, for example (but not limited to):

  • Childcare including nursery fees;
  • Care costs for elderly or disabled family members*;
  • Medical expenses, for example prescription charges or paid-for therapy that is not covered by private medical insurance;
  • Basic food provisions;
  • Topping up prepayment (‘pay-as-you-go’) gas and electricity meters;
  • Rent;
  • Emergency transport costs.

* By ‘family’ we mean people with whom you have a close, interdependent relationship.

Please email your request to uonucubranch@gmail.com. You will need to show evidence of a submitted claim to the national fighting fund, together with relevant supporting documentation.

If you need money urgently please contact the branch; we may be able to provide you with a loan, which will need to be paid back once you have received money from the Fighting Fund.

Spreading deductions

The University has confirmed that members who wish to spread deductions beyond April to alleviate financial challenges should contact the HR department to request this. Decisions will be made on a case by case basis.

Dispute Organising Group (DOG)

18 days of action require a lot of organising and planning and we need help from members. If you are able to help organise our collective action, please respond to this email or contact uonucubranch@gmail.com.

UCU Industrial action strategy 2023

In the ongoing debate about what the next steps in our industrial action to restore USS benefits and obtain a better deal for pay and working conditions should be, we (UoNUCU branch committee) think that the proposal in our September motion is the most sensible: on-going strike action from the first day of the second semester, organised in such a way that members only take strike action on those days when withdrawing labour impacts the employer.
Read a longer rationale here

Branch meeting to discuss this and make your voice heard
Jan 6 2023 at 13:00
Zoom link will be sent to branch members via email

Local UCU UoN branch strike hardship payments

As we head into the next round of strike days, this branch will be complementing the national strike pay with hardship payments, where national strike pay is not sufficient and will leave a member in difficulty.

National UCU strike pay

The national union has announced its strike pay support for those taking industrial action (full details here).

Applications for payment are made direct to the national union – see link here.

Members are urged to apply to the national union for strike pay in the first instatnce

Local UCU UoN branch top up hardship payments

The local UCU UoN branch is determined to ensure that members are not prevented from participating in our strikes because of concerns about financial hardship. That is why members voted to transfer £25,000 to the local branch fighting fund, and further funds will be allocated to the fighting fund soon. This money is tosupport branch members. It has been built up by members subscriptions to ensure members do not feel forced back to work because of financial hardship. It is how we show our solidarity as Trade Unionists.

Where national strike pay is not sufficient to prevent significant financial hardship branch members are encouraged to apply to the local branch hardship fund.

For strike action between 14th February and 2nd March 2022 (10 days strike) the local union will pay a maximum of £25 per strike day (from 14th February, ie ‘Day 1’ onwards).

If you do not need to draw on these funds, we ask you not to claim. The branch is keen to ensure funds are available to those in greatest need and this is where we are keen to focus our resources. Your understanding in this regard is appreciated.

You are eligible for a local hardship payment if you meet ALL of these criteria

  1. You are a UCU member at UoN
  2. You are paying subscriptions at the correct rate (if any subscription is payable)
  3. You fully participated in the strike, ie; you did not work on any day that the union instructed us to go on strike as a result of the democratic ballot
  4. You have claimed for strike pay from the National Fighting Fund
  5. The national strike pay does not exceed or equal the deductions made to your salary

To apply for the local hardship fund

Email the branch uonucubranch@gmail.com with ALL of this information

  1. A screenshot, scanned or photographed copy of the payslip which shows the deduction made for striking
  2. Your bank details (account name, number and sort code)
  3. The dates you were out on strike
  4. The amount needed to prevent hardship as a result of strike deductions. This should not be more than £25 per strike day, or exceed the amount of pay lost after strike pay has been accounted for.
  5. Screenshot copy or other proof of application for national strike pay

Hardship Loans

It can take up to 2 weeks for national strike pay to be processed We recognise that for a few people waiting for two weeks will cause unmanageable difficulties and/or hardship. In this case, the limited local branch hardship fund may be able to lend you the amount you have claimed, to be repaid on receipt of the strike pay from UCU. You will need to be eligible in the same way and provide the same information as above.

National strike pay and local hardship payments are not taxed at source.

Branch Meeting

UCU UoN is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

UoN UCU Branch Meeting
Feb 9, 2022 01:00 PM London

Zoom link emailed to members

Please ensure you have your full name on screen or the host will remove you from the meeting