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Strike action update

Wednesday 22 January 2014

We informed all students earlier this week that UCU, a trade union, are encouraging their members to take industrial action in the form of two-hour strikes on three dates, in higher education institutions across the UK, including Queen Mary:

  • Thursday, 23 January
  • Tuesday, 28 January
  • Monday, 10 February

That means that staff who are a member of UCU have been called upon by their Trade Union to not fulfil their contractual requirements.

UCU have issued a statement saying that they intend to encourage their members to take part in an ongoing programme of strikes. The strike action is planned for busy teaching times. While the impact may not be widespread, we appreciate that it might affect some students, and so QM is doing all we can to minimise disruption.

Along with many other higher education institutions, QM views partial performance during a day as a breach of the employment contract for the whole day. Once the contract has been breached, staff taking strike action cannot be asked to do other work on that same day.

We have asked members of staff to notify us if they intend to take strike action, however, they don’t have to tell us in advance. Therefore, Schools are attempting to minimise disruption and will inform you of any alternative arrangements as soon as possible. But if you have any concerns, or encounter any issues on the day, please contact your School.

The strike action relates to a disagreement between UCU and the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), of which QM is a member, relating to how much higher education institutions increase the amount they pay staff. Some brief background information on the circumstances leading up to this action is outlined on the staff intranet Connect, which students can access when logged on to the network.

Following advice from UCEA, higher education institutions across the UK, including QM, have already implemented a pay increase of one per cent to eligible staff.

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