UCU Industrial Action

How RUSU is supporting UCU industrial action

  • RUSU has set up this web page.
    This will provide information for students on how to show their support of UCU industrial action
  • RUSU has produced stickers that show our support for UCU strikes
    Students can pick one up from RUSU Reception
  • RUSU Officer Trustees to support UCU members taking part in the strike action
    They will be providing UCU members with hot drinks.
  • RUSU to produce pro-strike posters and display in venue and on campus.
  • RUSU to publish strike statement in the Spark newspaper
  • RUSU to advertise Teach Outs as an opportunity for students.
  • RUSU to hand deliver a letter to the VC outlining their support of industrial action.
  • RUSU to assist with a Teach Out gig.

NUS have provided UCU Strike Resources for students.

Keep an eye on this page for updates on how you can get involved and new information.

If you have any questions or suggestions relating to how you can support the industrial action, please email president@rusu.co.uk or educationofficer@rusu.co.uk.

RUSU will continue to support individual students, through our Advice Service and representation functions, in relation to the impact strikes may have on an individual students’ academic student experience and academic progression.

University and College Union (UCU) held two strike ballots calling for UCU members to take strike action and action short of strike. There was a strike ballot of 69 institutions, relating to the ongoing disputes relating to Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pensions; and another strike ballot of 147 institutions over disputes relating to pay, workloads, casualisation and equality. The strike ballots ended on 30th October.

On 5th November UCU announced that their members would take strike action which is scheduled to take place for 8 days from 25th November to 4th December 2019 and action short of strike scheduled to take place from 25th November finishing no later than 20th April 2020.

UCU have posted the full results of the strike ballot.

The University & College Union (UCU) Higher Education Committee has confirmed that they will be instructing members to take a further 14 days’ strike action. UCU has given notification of strike action on the following dates:

  • Thursday 20 and Friday 21 February (two days)
  • Monday 24, Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 February (three days)
  • Monday 2, Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4 and Thursday 5 March (four days)
  • Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 and Friday 13 March (five days).

This is in addition to the current period of action short of strike, which continues until April 2020.

You can find out more information from University and College Union (USU) relating to why they called for strike action relating to USS pensions at UCU Strike for USS. Visit UUK Response for the response from Universities UK (UUK) who represent 136 higher education employers (including University of Reading) in discussions relating to the USS pensions.

You can find out more information about UCU National Negotiations for information from University and College Union (USU) about why they are calling for strike action over pay and working conditions (specifically workloads, casualisation and equality). Visit UCEA Pay Negotiations for the response from Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) who represent 146 HEIs, including the University of Reading in response to current pay negotiations.

In the referendum, RUSU invited student members, the students of Reading University, to cast their vote and determine whether RUSU should support the University and College Union (UCU) strike action and/or action short of strike.

Strike action is industrial action whereby UCU members take the decision not to work on a strike day. If they choose, UCU members can choose not to work on all of the strike days.

Action Short of a Strike may include, but is not limited to, industrial action taken by UCU members in the form of a protest, an expression of dissatisfaction, slowdown, refusal to work overtime or working to rule.

This official industrial action related to two separate disputes; an ongoing dispute over Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pensions; and a dispute relating to pay and working conditions.

This referendum included four separate questions;

  1. Should RUSU support UCU strike action over pension dispute?
  2. Should RUSU support UCU action short of a strike over pension dispute?
  3. Should RUSU support UCU strike action over pay and working conditions dispute?
  4. Should RUSU support UCU action short of a strike over pay and working conditions dispute?

Students were able to respond ‘Yes’, ‘No’ or ‘Abstain’ to each question. The outcome to these questions determined RUSU’s position in relation to the UCU strike action and UCU action short of a strike.

RUSU is not obliged to act upon a vote that has a turnout of less than 1,000 students eligible to vote. However, the vote may be taken into account when formulating policies.

To help student members to decide how to vote, we produced a detailed explanation of what voting for each question means and what it will result in.

  1. Should RUSU support UCU strike action over pension dispute?
    Turnout 1224
    YES 775
    NO 418
    ABSTAIN 31
  2. Should RUSU support UCU action short of a strike over pension dispute?
    Turnout 1201
    YES 750
    NO 371
    ABSTAIN 80
  3. Should RUSU support UCU strike action over pay and working conditions dispute?
    Turnout 1193
    YES 768
    NO 375
    ABSTAIN 50
  4. Should RUSU support UCU action short of a strike over pay and working conditions dispute?
    Turnout 1185
    YES 755
    NO 347
    ABSTAIN 83

This referendum result is upheld until April 2020 – up until this date RUSU shall support all UCU industrial action.