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Message from the Principal: Industrial action update 25 November-4 December 2019

The Principal has written to all students to update them on planned industrial action by members of the University and College Union (UCU).


On Monday morning eight days of strike action will start at Queen Mary, and at other universities across the UK. This action will finish on 4 December. I deeply regret that we have industrial action and I understand that you will be concerned about the impact on your education. I also know that every member of staff at Queen Mary is committed to providing the very best education and experience for you.

All of our campuses will remain open as usual, and you should assume your timetabled sessions will run as normal unless you are informed otherwise by staff in your school or institute. Some schools and institutes will be affected by the strike action more than others: in some areas there will be minimal or no impact, and in others staff will be joining the strike. The library, wellbeing and other student services will all be open as normal throughout.

We are working hard with other university leaders and the trade unions to find a resolution to this dispute: on Wednesday 20 November a letter was sent from the employer’s association to the trade union suggesting further dialogue on some of the issues. In the meantime, it is our responsibility to minimise any disruption to your education and experience caused by this action. We are working with your Head of School or Institute to mitigate the impact of this industrial action on your teaching, learning and overall experience. We have created a comprehensive FAQs webpage to answer any questions you may have about the industrial action and how it might affect you.

During the eight days of the strike, there may be one or more picket lines established outside entrances to our campuses. With our Students’ Union supporting this strike action, you may find some of our students supporting staff and trade union representatives on these picket lines.

Peaceful picketing is perfectly lawful. Students and staff wishing to cross the picket line should be able to do so without obstruction or fear of those on the picket line trying to stop them. There is guidance on the UK Government website on how these pickets should be conducted. If you feel intimidated crossing the picket lines, please contact security immediately, either in person or by telephoning 020 7882 3333.

Please keep an eye on your emails and on the MyQMUL page on Industrial Action for updates throughout this period. If you have any questions which aren’t answered on the FAQs page, please contact the Student Enquiry Centre Online, email, or contact your school or institute (contact details can be found here).
Best wishes,



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