Strike for USS - phase one ends and a 'thank-you' to supporters
19 March 2018
Friday 16 March marked the conclusion of 14 days of strike action - the longest and most successful period of industrial action in the history of the UCU. Shortly before noon pickets and supporters gathered at the Gower Street entrance for a demonstration (see photo above).
This is to thank all those that supported our action: for staying away from work on strike days (and joining our picket lines), raising the profile of our campaign by writing to and petitioning MPs, public bodies and our local SMT and for donating to our fighting fund.
Through a period that saw freezing then wet weather, picket lines were strongly supported (where departments were not closed) with picketing at remote sites and multi-tenancy buildings on the periphery of the Bloomsbury campus. As planned an extensive programme of teach-outs were held in a number of locations around campus. We continued with noon strike meetings to discuss the progress of our strike.
Colleagues will be aware that the delegate meeting at UCU HQ on Tuesday 13 March categorically rejected the offer from the employers' representative body UUK (we will write in more detail about this soon). Thanks to all who took the time to write in on Monday evening to share their view of the offer (more than 10:1 against).
On Wednesday 14 March our second March for Education was very well supported and the meeting in Westminster Central Hall became a forum for strikers to debate the way forward.
Our branch membership continues to grow and is soon likely to be 50% greater than at the end of 2017.
We will write again shortly with plans for further activities, meetings and demonstrative actions. In the meantime we invite you to sign our petition to the UK Government to accept a role as guarantor to the USS pension scheme. Please share widely.