UCL News


Public sector industrial action - 30 November

25 November 2011

UCL has been notified by the University and College Union (UCU) of the intention of its members to take industrial action in the form of a strike on 30 November 2011.

I understand that this action is planned to coincide with a broader campaign by several public sector trade unions. This campaign will culminate in a day of action on 30 November 2011 in relation to proposed changes to some public sector pension schemes.

Changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) were enacted on 1 October 2011 following extensive consultation with staff and unions. Further dialogue between USS management representatives and trade unions is continuing. In these circumstances UCL views the industrial action as wholly unnecessary. UCL very much hopes that you will decide not to take part in the industrial action, and that it will not be necessary to implement the policy on pay outlined below in your case.

UCL policy on staff who take industrial action

Any member of staff who refuses to carry out their duties will be committing a breach of their contract of employment. In response to such action, UCL will withhold 100% of a day's pay (calculated at 1/260). This means that if you decide to take part in the strike action or refuse to cross a picket line and do not fulfil the requirements of your contract, you will consequently not be entitled to your contractual pay.

To ensure that we only deduct pay for those taking part in the strike action, your Head of Department or Division will be required to submit a list of those who are participating in strike action in their area.

If you have not got authorised permission to be away from work (e.g. agreed annual, maternity, paternity etc, sabbatical, special leave or you have not followed procedures for notifying sickness, etc.) then it will be presumed that you are participating in strike action or are unwilling to cross a picket line and your pay deducted accordingly.

Please ensure that your Head of Department or Division is aware of any planned absences on 30 November 2011.

Potential impact of industrial action by other unions

The potential closure of schools, crèche or nursery facilities, or other care support services due to staff shortages on 30 November may impact on UCL staff with carer responsibilities. Such staff may not be able to attend work on this day, even if they are not taking strike action.

With the approval of the Provost's Senior Management Team I have asked Heads of Department to discuss local contingency plans with staff and to ensure that students and visitors are informed of any changes to normal arrangements. This may include, for planning purposes, asking staff whether they intend to participate in industrial action or whether, if they have carer responsibilities, they will need to take leave or make other arrangements to fulfil those responsibilities.

I have asked Heads of Department to consider sympathetically requests from staff whose carer responsibilities may be impacted by the actions of other unions.

Need further advice?

Please contact your HR Consultant.

Nigel Waugh, HR Director