Teach-outs this week: 24 – 26 February

Monday 24th February

Workshop: ‘Building union presence: conversations that lead to action’ Led by Pete Rodgers, Nottingham Citizens

1 -3pm. Dunkirk Community Centre, The Old School, Montpelier Rd, Dunkirk, Nottingham NG7 2JW

This interactive and informal workshop looks at how we can use our one to one conversations with colleagues to encourage collective action. We all know such conversations can seem uncomfortable – but there are many simple techniques we can use to help these discussions. Everyone is welcome to attend; if you are a current UCU rep or thinking of becoming one, this would be particularly helpful to attend.

Tuesday 25th February

Discussion: ‘Gendered Injustice in the University’. Facilitated by Katharine Jenkins and Jessica Vernon, UoN Department of Philosophy

1 -3pm. Middle Street Resource Centre, 74 Middle Street, Beeston NG9 2AR (Next to the Middle Street tram stop)

Sexual violence, gendered labour—how do these affect our lives and what does it have to do with the strike? Come and discuss these issues and more with staff and students. All welcome!

Wednesday 26th February

Talk: ‘What is a student housing co-operative?’ Led by Nottingham Student Housing Co-operative

1 -3pm. Dunkirk Community Centre, Montpelier Road, Nottingham NG7 2JW

UCU Strikes Back: The Return of the Strikes

Demonstrators at the rally. Photo by @craigafrench

Today’s entry comes from Matt Green, UoN UCU Branch President

Rain. Wind. More rain. More wind. But undaunted support and impressive spirit from UCU members. Welcome to the first strike diary entry of 2020.

Wind conspiring with rain.

Undeterred by the tail end of Storm Dennis, hosts of picketers and supporters turned out for the first day of strike action across our four campuses. Action culminated with a rally across from the Trent Building energised by close to two hundred staff, students and local supporters, wet but resolute. Present in spirit were all those strikers unable to make it in because of flooding or poor health, but who sent in messages of support and solidarity.

‘“‘They win by making you think you’re alone’”.

At the outset of the rally, I said a few words supported by our APM Officer Joe Baxter, who did his utmost to shield my lovingly crafted notes from the worst of the rain. Next, we heard from Liz Morrish, retired academic and independent researcher in Critical University Studies, who spoke passionately of the importance of defending our pensions; then, from Sam Harris, who brought solidarity from NTU and his Unite branch, who have generously donated £150 to the Hardship Fund; from UoN undergraduate, Joseph Baker, who underscored the significance of our struggle for him and his peers; and, rounding things up, from Nottingham East MP (and former UoN student), Nadia Whittome, who reminded us that our fight for pensions and better working conditions stands at the vanguard of the labour movement today.

Thanks Joe!

2018 was the year UCU truly woke up with unprecedented numbers on the picket lines and a swelling sense of jubilation as members came together with a rejuvenated recognition of the power of solidarity. Winter 2019 saw the longest single block of strike action in the Union’s history and again saw more members on the pickets — it was our time of testing and proving and as members we showed ourselves proud. Spring 2020 will be a time for dogged determination and solid resolve.

Nottingham East MP, Nadia Whittome

On the pickets this morning, I saw in every face the grit and purpose needed to win a dispute that, really, should have been resolved by now. The employers may be dragging their heels, but UCU members and their supporters remain undeterred. The weather was inclement, but our spirit was strong and, until the downpour commenced, the new UCU sound system was enlivening spirits up on North entrance — Donna Summer’s ‘Hot Stuff’ was ramping up the irony when I stopped by, but I’ve been faithfully assured the UCU playlist has retained Branch favourites like ‘Bella ciao’.

Bringing a spot of colour and solidarity to Derby Road.

In both disputes — pensions and pay/conditions — UCU’s position is reasonable and attainable. Sustained and strong turnouts on the picket lines will give our national negotiators the strength needed to forge a deal that will turn around a decade of attacks on our pensions, our pay, our health and our working environment.

History students at West Entrance. Photo by @Natalie_Grace95

For too long we’ve seen APM members forced to work evenings and weekends with no renumeration, no acknowledgement and no real understanding of how hard they have had to work to patch together learning and research environments beset by broken systems and botched restructuring. For too long we’ve seen our IT staff ignored and frustrated by a decade of under-investment and mismanagement. For too long we’ve had early career staff forced to put their lives on hold as they are trapped in a cycle of fixed-term contracts our hourly paid teaching work. For too long, academic staff have been denied the tools, the time and the professional respect required to do their jobs.

Who says it’s grim up North (Entrance)?

Today, UCU members came together to say ‘No More!’. Our collective voices reverberated up Portland Hill to the offices of senior management. Shouts of ‘Treat us fairly!’ rang out across the boating lake. Along with the support of local politicians and dedicated students, our rally resonated with both anger and optimism. Our action is part of a larger struggle that can add momentum to restore democratic accountability to University governance and can add strength to the voices of those who want to see real and genuine change for the better.

Sheltering behind the Notts TUC banner.

And yet, at present, conditions on the ground are the worst I have seen in 20 years of employment at the University. While on the one hand, the outpouring of support from our students shows hope for the future, on the other we are working in an environment that is increasingly hostile and in which inequality and injustice too often prevail. This is a fight that we cannot afford to lose.

Indefatigable resolve on East.

The establishment of a national framework to ensure fair treatment of staff and safe working conditions is not only long overdue, but well within the purview of UCEA, while the full implementation of the Joint Expert Panel’s recommendations will protect our pension benefits and ensure the longterm viability of the USS.

First time on the pickets.

Today was a heartening start to this round of strikes, but the more people visible on the picket lines, the more who strike, the sooner these disputes will be resolved.

Strike Information

This post outlines strike plans for the University of Nottingham UCU branch between 20th February to 13th March. Please check back regularly for updates and follow us on Twitter: @UoNUCU

Dates of strike

February 20, 21

February 24, 25, 26

March 2, 3, 4, 5

March 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

Rally on Thursday 20 February

We will be holding a rally at 11:30am on Thursday 20th at the Pavilions in Highfields Park (see blue circle on map below). The aim is to make our presence seen and heard in the management offices of Trent Building, so please bring music instruments and any noise making devices (pots and pans, vuvuzelas, kazoos, cow bells, bike bells, etc).  

We also have a UoN UCU strike playlist which is public and collaborative, so feel free to add your favourite tunes!

Picket line 

Picket times are 07:30-11:00. 

Please make every effort you can to join the pickets, support each other, talk to colleagues and students about the action, and represent the union as powerfully as you did during the last strike. If you cannot join the physical picket – as many can’t, for various reasons – please demonstrate your solidarity and support on the virtual picket, using @UoNUCU #UCUStrike #ucustrikesback 

Please take care of yourself on the picket line and watch out for cyclists and motorists! Your health is a priority so if you feel unwell/need rest, don’t feel pressure to attend the picket line but strike from home.

Picket line locations

* See corresponding letters next to red X’s on map

University Park:

(A) North Entrance

(B) South Entrance

(C) West Entrance

(D) East Entrance

(E) Pedestrian Entrance across from University Blvd Tram Stop

(F) Pedestrian Entrance Derby Road (West End of Campus)

(G) Pedestrian Entrance Derby Road (across from Wollaton Park pedestrian gate)

Kings Meadow Campus:

(H) Main Entrance 

Sutton Bonington Campus:

 (I) Main Entrance (College road)

 (J) South Entrance (Landcroft Lane)

Jubilee Campus:

(K) Wollaton Road Entrance 

(L) Triumph Road Entrance

(M) Derby Road Entrance

See below for where to report for the picket. The locations have been assigned by department in order to ensure coverage on all picket lines; however you are not obliged to go to that location – feel free to move around as well. You may also be asked by a picket coordinator to populate a quieter location, if you are happy to do so.

If your department/unit is not listed, or if you require posters or armbands, please visit picket leaders at these sites: 

At UP: North Entrance (A); South Entrance (B); West Entrance (C) 

At Sutton Bonington: Main Entrance (I)

At Jubilee: Triumph Road Entrance (L); Derby Road Entrance (M)

DepartmentPicket Location
American and Canadian StudiesUP North (A)
Architecture and the Built EnvironmentUP West (C)
BiosciencesSutton Bonington Main Entrance (I)
ChemistryUP North (A)
Civil EngineeringUP North (A)
Computer ScienceJubilee Wollaton Rod (K)
CounsellingUP North (A)
CLASUP South (B)
EconomicsUP West (C)
Education (inc CELE)Jubilee Triumph Road (L)
Electrical and Electronic EngineeringUP North (A)
EnglishUP South (B)
Finance and InfrastructureJubilee Wollaton Road (K)
FrenchUP West (C)
GeographyUP South (B)
German StudiesUP West (C)
Health SciencesJubilee Derby Road (M)
HistoryUP West (C)
History of ArtUP South (B)
Information ServicesKings Meadow
LawUP North (A)
LibrariesStaff based at UP: UP South (B) Staff based at Jubilee: Jubilee Triumph Road (L) Staff based at Kings Meadow: Kings Meadow
Life SciencesUP South (B)
Mathematical SciencesKings Meadow
MedicineJubilee Wollaton Road (K)
MusicUP South (B)
Nottingham University Business SchoolJubilee Derby Road (M)
PharmacyUP North (A)
PhilosophyUP West (C)
Physics and AstronomyKings Meadow
Politics and International RelationsUP West (C)
PsychologyUP South (B)
Russian and Slavonic StudiesUP North (A)
Sociology and Social PolicyJubilee Derby Road (M)
Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies                   UP West (C)
Veterinary Medicine and ScienceSutton Bonington Main Entrance (I)

Teach-outs and events

Events are free and open to all (not just UCU members). All venues are wheel-chair accessible. 

Thursday 20th FebStrike RallyPavilions, Highfield Park11.30am
Friday 21st FebBake-offPicket lines
Monday 24th FebWorkshop: ‘Building union presence:
conversations that
lead to action’ Led
by Pete Rodgers,
Community Centre,
Montpelier Road
1 – 3pm
Tuesday 25th FebDiscussion:
‘Gendered Injustice
in the University’
Led by Katharine
Jenkins and Jessica
Vernon, Dpt of
Middle Street
Resource Centre,
74 Middle Street,
Beeston NG9 2AR
1 -3 pm
Wednesday 26th
Talk: ‘What is a
student housing
co-operative?’ Led
by Nottingham
Student Housing
Community Centre,
Montpelier Road
1 – 3pm
Monday 2nd MarchCrafting session:
Bunting, Crochet,
needle felting. All
materials provided

Talk: ‘Brexit and
Citizen Rights’
Narine Ghazaryan,
School of Law
Community Centre,
Montpelier Road
1 -3 pm
Tuesday 3rd MarchTalk: ‘The power
of statistics: how
to spot fake news’
Rosie Smith, School
of Education

Talk: ‘Well-being
and resilience at
work’ Neil
Chadborne, School
of Medicine
Middle Street
Resource Centre,
74 Middle Street,
Beeston NG9 2AR
1 – 3pm
Wednesday 4th
Yoga for all stages
including beginners
Bring your own
yoga mat/there will
be 12 provided by
instructor. Class
size limit: 20
Session: 45 min
Middle Street
Resource Centre,
74 Middle Street,
Beeston NG9 2AR
1 – 2pm
Wednesday 4th
Music, dancing, and drinks. With special guest UCU secretary Jo Grady. Free, everyone welcome!
Vat and
Fiddle, 12
Queensbridge Rd,
7.30pm – late
Thursday 5th
Workshop: ‘The
Changing Face of
Education in the
East Midlands:
Implications for
Adult and Higher
Education’ Colin
Kirkwood, Rob
Hunter, Lorinda
John Holford,
Linden West
3 North Sherwood
Street, NG1 4EZ
2 – 4.30pm
Monday 9th
led by University
of Nottingham
Community Centre,
Montpelier Road
1 – 3pm
Tuesday 10th
Poetry reading:
Peter Gizzi,
Sarah Hayden,
Alan Baker
Five Leaves
Bookshop, 14a
Long Row W,
7 – 8.30pm
Wednesday 11th
Talk: ‘Black Holes
and Extra
Antonio Padilla,
School of Physics
and Astronomy
South Entrance
Thursday 12th
Friday 13th

What happens when I am on strike?

No Emails

·         Not log-on to the university network

·         Not read or respond to work emails during the duration of multiple-day strikes

·         Put an ‘I am on strike, etc.,’ automatic reply on your email – see below

No Teaching or administration

·         Not ‘catch-up’ with work planned for during the strike

·         Dissuade any colleagues from covering for your absence

·         Not ‘decline’ or rearrange meetings

·         Not rearrange classes

No Research

·         Not attend research seminars and other research events

Out Of Office emails

UCU members should not read or respond to any emails whilst on strike, and should immediately delete, unread, all emails on return to work — except for those from students. During strike periods, we ask you to put an out-of-office auto-reply on your emails. We suggest the following text — though of course you may edit this if you prefer.

I am currently unavailable as I am striking over Pensions, Pay and Equality.

Background to the dispute can be found here:


You can support us by joining UCU (http://join.ucu.org.uk/) and taking part in strike action.

If you are a student, I will respond to your email on my return — though you may have to be patient. 

Otherwise, I will not be reading this email, and will delete it, unread, on my return.

Open Days

Where members have been directly instructed to participate in an open day or other University activities on a day not explicitly marked as a strike day (including weekends), they should comply with this instruction provided said activities form a normal part of the work associated with their role; where participation in such activities is presented as voluntary, members do not need to undertake this work.

Other useful information for members can be found here: