Message from the Principal: Industrial action update 5 February 2020
The Principal has written to all students to update them on planned industrial action by members of the University and College Union (UCU).
One of the trade unions (UCU) that represents some of our staff called eight days of strike action at our University last November and December on the subjects of pensions and pay. Both of these are nationally-negotiated issues and affected many universities. Similar to other universities, the disruption to students caused by the strike action varied considerably across our University. Some Schools and Institutes carried on as normal, with no classes cancelled, and others experienced moderate to significant disruption in terms of the number of classes cancelled during the eight-day strike period.
Although positive talks are ongoing at a national level to find a long-term sensible solution to these disputes, I’m sorry to inform you that UCU has decided to call a further 14 days of strike action. We have recently been informed by UCU that the strike action will take place locally at our University on:
- Thursday 20 and Friday 21 February (2 days)
• Monday 24 to Wednesday 26 February (3 days)
• Monday 9 to Friday 13 March (5 days)
• Monday 16 to Thursday 19 March (4 days)
Although this is a national dispute, I deeply regret that once again we face local industrial action here at our University and I fully understand that you continue to be very concerned about any impact on your education and overall experience.
Whether or not they choose to strike, I know that all staff at Queen Mary are passionate about providing the very best education and experience for all of you, and it is our responsibility to minimise any disruption that may be caused by this additional proposed action. We are therefore continuing to work extremely hard with your Head of School or Institute to minimise the local impact of the industrial action on your teaching, learning and overall experience. If you are in a school or institute that is likely to be impacted by the strike, your Head of School or Institute will soon be contacting you with further details on the arrangements being put in place for your particular course.
As this is a national dispute about pay and pensions we are continuing to work hard with other partners across the Higher Education sector to find a sensible, affordable and sustainable solution to these issues that is acceptable to the whole community.
My primary concern is that you continue to enjoy the very best education and experience while you are at Queen Mary. We will do everything possible to ensure that this is the case. More information will be made available as soon as we have it, but in the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Head of School/Institute directly or the student enquiry centre.
Professor Colin Bailey, FREng, BEng, PhD, CEng, FICE, FIStructE, MIFireE
President and Principal | Queen Mary University of London | Mile End Road | London | E1 4NS