Strike report - day 8 (Mon 9 Mar)

10 March 2020

We encourage members to join us out on the picket lines this week for what is a vital period in this dispute. Talks continue. The employers are under pressure but there is no deal on the table.

As UCU national negotiator (and branch president) Sean Wallis said at our general meeting on Friday, despite rumours to the contrary, negotiators have been discussing the space for a possible settlement in good faith with the employers, but have not committed to recommending any offer. This is not their remit. Negotiators try to do their best in the room, report back to members and submit to the democratic process, take soundings and votes.

No offer is on the table. UCU’s national Higher Education Committee agreed that if an offer were made it would then need to go through a series of steps, starting with whether negotiators recommended for it to go out to consultation or to reject it and return to negotiations. As in 2018 the process will involve local meetings of members and national meetings of delegates. Unlike 2018, additional democratic safeguards have been added.

In the meantime, the size of the pickets make a clear impression on management. We must remain visible and encourage colleagues to join us in increasing numbers this week.

Picketing can have a fun side as our colleagues at the IOE demonstrate with their Sing-Out.

Day 8: Brief report

Monday 9 March was Day 8 of our second phase of strikes at UCL. To mark Sunday’s International Women’s Day, the strike was themed on the Gender Pay Gap aspect of our Four Fights campaign to mark International Women’s Day. At 12 noon, members gathered at the Malet Place entrance picket where we joined together to chant about the gender pay gap. 

A new leaflet aimed at students with things they can do to support the strike was very popular, as was a new leaflet promoting the London Region UCU March for Education and Earth on March 13 (now cancelled)

Campus was quieter than last week. Pickets were cheered by the fact that a group of UCL students have gone into occupation in the South Cloisters space in front of the Provost’s Office in solidarity with our strike. The group, calling themselves #liberatetheuniversity, are planning events to encourage other students to support the strike. (See also Liberate the University on Facebook.) The writer Owen Jones visited and spoke in solidarity at 1pm, and at 2pm a UCU International Women’s Day Rally organised by KCL UCU joined them inside the South Cloisters.

Day 9 and beyond

  • Picketing from 8 to 12, with a planned gathering at 12 noon at 26 Bedford Way. This week strike committee meetings will take place from 12.15 to 1.00 in the Royal National Hotel.
  • Day 10 Teach-Out, 1.00 to 3.00 in the Royal National Hotel: Preventing Prevent: Educators NOT Informants. Speakers: TBC.

Strike day themes for this week

March 10March 11March 12March 13
Research Staff dayPrevent day (Budget Day)Professional Services Staff dayClimate Emergency & demo

Further details of planned central and departmental Teach-Outs on the UCL UCU website