Strike report - day 3 (Wed 27 Nov) & future Teach-Out schedule

27 November 2019

Dear UCL-UCU colleague

Day 3: brief report

Despite forecasts of heavy rain, day 3 of the national HE strike saw solid pickets around UCL on many entrances. The Gower St site was extremely quiet. Students are increasingly staying away realising that there are no lectures taking place.

Elsewhere, there were large pickets at Malet Place. Staff picketed the rear gate, and (appropriately) students joined staff on the picket lines of the Student Centre. Alongside picket-line Teach-Outs at Anthropology and the Bartlett, Archaeology and SSEES competed for picket line slogans. More than 50 pickets on the IOE concourse sang three generations of protest songs.

Tomorrow, again, picket lines are up and running from 8am to 12 noon. We encourage colleagues to make a special effort to come in for 8am (or soon after) tomorrow if you can as we intend to leaflet other colleges in the Bloomsbury area for Friday’s London UCU demonstration for “Pay, Pensions and Planet”. 

Messages of support continue to come in:

“On behalf of Camden Trades Council I am writing to extend our support to UCU members at UCL and dozens of other higher education institutions across Britain taking strike action, whether in defence of their pension scheme or to halt the ongoing erosion of their pay and conditions. The increasing casualisation of the lecturing workforce, combined with a real terms cut in typical salaries by more than 17% in the past decade, provide very good reasons to take to the picket line.

With best wishes for strongly supported and successful action.

Yours in solidarity, George Binette, Chair, Camden Trades Council.”

Re-ballot in 13 colleges begins Wednesday 4 December

Today's news is dominated by UCU's announcement that another 13 branches will be re-balloted from 4 December, in order to join us in strike action in the new year should this prove necessary. Their ballot will start as our strike wave ends, but their campaigns to organise to get the vote out begin now. 

In London, Imperial, SOAS and the University of the Arts London (UAL) will begin a re-ballot on 4 December. More branches are planning to reballot after Christmas. It is worth noting that like us, UAL and SOAS both returned 80% ‘Yes’ votes: they are unable to strike only because fewer than 50% of the ballot papers issued were returned. 

Day 5: demonstration for Pensions, Pay and the Planet

Friday's London-wide demonstration is part university strike demo / part climate protest. 

The demonstration is an opportunity for strikers from many colleges to march together and a chance for colleagues to show support for the strike, even if they are unable to strike themselves.

Likewise, students can join our demonstration alongside school students striking for the Planet - 29 November is the next date in the Climate Action calendar after 20 September, which saw 500 people in the Quad take half an hour's demonstrative action. Other protests are taking place around the globe on Friday.

The march will assemble at 11am at Malet Street, leaving at 12 to Westminster for an indoor rally and London-wide strike meeting. Students are assembling at 10am on the IOE concourse.

UCL UCU Executive Committee