UCL-UCU: *reminder* General Meeting, Thu 10 Feb, 1-2pm - next steps for USS & Four Fights + motions

9 February 2022

This is a reminder for our General Meeting on Thursday 10 February, 1-2 pm, which will be an opportunity to discuss practical organisation for the upcoming industrial action.

Included in the discussion will be the potential for themed strike days and solidarity with neighbouring branches taking USS action, and for members to ask questions. 

We have received two motions for debate - see Appendix 1. The first of these is from the Corona Contract anti-casualisation campaign and calls for UCU to call a meeting of striking branches to coordinate the dispute. The second regards the Silvertown Tunnel project, a proposed tunnel under the Thames that would have an entrance and approach roads through the London Borough of Newham near UCL East. This asks the Major of London to pause and review the project considering London’s commitments on climate change and air quality.

We have also invited a speaker from the striking security staff at Great Ormond’s Street Hospital (GOSH), which partners with UCL Institute of Child Health. Their union, United Voices of the World, were successful in bringing LSE outsourced workers in-house.

Strike dates and planning

At UCL we will be on strike for the following dates over the Four Fights (Pay, Casualisation, Workload and Inequality):

  • 21 and 22 February
  • 28 February, 1 and 2 March

On Tuesday 22 February there will be a demonstration from Tavistock Square, where UCEA and UUK have their offices, to march on USS’s Headquarters in the City, which is when the USS Joint Negotiating Committee meets.

London Region UCU has proposed the following themes for strike days:

  • 21 Feb - Casualisation
  • 22 Feb - Pensions - Fighting for the Future (and the demo)
  • 28 Feb - The Race Pay Gap
  • 1 March - The Cost of Living
  • 2 March - Solidarity with Students (NUS walkout)

Strike action over USS begins 14-18 February, when 10 branches in London will be on strike. We are not being called out but we should do our best to provide solidarity and support for our colleagues in branches elsewhere in London.

Some 19 UCU branches in London have a mandate for strike action over either the Four Fights or USS. Goldsmiths UCU and the Royal College of Art UCU are also taking strike action over their local disputes. Click here for more detailed information about branches in the disputes.

Four UNISON branches in London have also achieved a strike mandate over Pay, and have announced action to coincide with ours. These are Birkbeck, SOAS, King’s College and City University.

We encourage colleagues to call meetings in departments to discuss your plans for strike action and pickets, and to discuss it with students.

UCL UCU Executive Committee



UCL UCU facebook


Appendix: Motions for debate

Motion 1: Call for an urgent meeting of branches to discuss the USS and Four Fights disputes

UCL UCU notes:

  1. HEC did not approve any of the strike proposals presented to branch delegates on 18 Jan 2022.
  2. HEC appears to have decided on a course of action that members have not been able to evaluate.
  3. To win our disputes, we need a clear strategy that branches have been able to assess and input into.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To sign the open letter on the next steps in the USS and Four Fights disputes outlining these concerns.
  2. To call for an urgent meeting of branches with a strike mandate so we can coordinate and propose industrial action strategy.
  3. To send delegates to such a meeting, whether organised centrally by UCU or by branches themselves.
  4. To advertise the meeting on the evening of 21 Feb called by the UCU Solidarity Movement to discuss next steps.

Motion 2: Support 'Stop the Silvertown Tunnel' Day of Action

UCL UCU notes:

  1. There is a climate emergency that requires urgent action.
  2. That transport is a leading cause of UK carbon emissions.
  3. The Mayor of London has proposed traffic reduction targets to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
  4. These targets are unobtainable if the Silvertown Tunnel, currently the largest new road construction in the UK, goes ahead.

UCL UCU believes:

  1. That trade unions have an important part to play in challenging a project which will only increase private road traffic.

UCL UCU resolves to:

  1. Raise awareness of the issue amongst members.
  2. Send a letter demanding the Mayor of London ‘pause and review’ the Silvertown tunnel project immediately’.
  3. Support the Stop the Silvertown Day of Action on 26 February.
  4. Join the Stop the Silvertown Tunnel Coalition campaign.