Back From the Pickets

A big and sincere thank you to our members for coming out these past 8 strike days and making this some of the most well attended strike action we have ever had.

Action Sort of Strike (ASOS) and Working to Contract

Returning to work means we move to action sort of strike. The Union has publish comprehensive guidance which can be found here: It has suggestions about what you should do if your contract does not explicitly state contracted hours or if you are hourly paid.

We will have some further guidance shortly for HPVL/GTA staff, as well as further information about revising assessments.

Some suggested text to include in your email signature is as follows:

Please note that I am currently taking Action Short of a Strike as part of the University and College Union’s (UCU) industrial action to defend our right to a fair pension, for real progress on closing the gender pay gap, and stopping the abuse of casualised contracts in Higher Education. Response times may be slower for the duration of the dispute, especially outside of normal working hours. Please support university staff by writing to university management asking them to resume negotiations with UCU immediately. *

*If most of your emails are with staff members you could include:

You can donate to our local fighting fund that supports members who have lost pay for taking strike action: UCU City LA14 Hardship Fund           Account: 20324559     Sort code: 60-83-01

As we return to work it is important to remember that there are a variety of reasons members who take strike action don’t attend pickets, but one of the results of striking alone is that some members will be feeling isolated. Please talk to one another in order to retain and extend the solidarity and collective strength of the picket-lines. But also, practically, to discuss ASOS and strategies to fight victimisation by management.

If you feel able, we encourage you to hold informal departmental or group meetings about how to manage ASOS in your area. If you would like a member of the committee to attend a local departmental meeting you have arrange please email us and we will arrange this.

If you hear of any threats of deductions, please report these immediately to us the Branch Officers.

We have strength as a collective, and it is important for us to continue this collective strength on our return.

Declaring Strike Action

If you are asked directly by your manager or HR then you should proudly declare that you took strike action and the days you took the action. We do not consider all staff emails about the pro-forma that were sent before and during the strike as requests we have to respond to. If a week has passed and you still have not been directly asked if you took strike action, we would then suggest completing the pro-forma that Mary Luckiram sent by Friday 13th December.

The university conceded to split deductions across 3 months, but there were other requests we made about deductions that we do not feel were honoured. There is therefore no incentive for us to assist management in carrying out their responsibility on this matter and see no reason for members to meet the very short deadline of the 6th December, given that we have just been on strike for 8 days, and our priorities will be managing students’ expectations, replying to their queries, and looking at what can be done about content missed for assessments. Some of us may also have urgent research or other deadlines.

Action from the pickets

For those that weren’t on the WhatsApp groups we have included a few highlights from our pickets, with special thanks to Robert Byford ( who captured some incredible pictures of our rally with the General Secretary, and students, some of which made the Financial Times.

General Secretary Jo Grady and members after lunch time rally in the rain

City UCU Pikcet Line at Gray’s Inn Place

City UCU members at Myddleton Building picket line.

City UCu members at Rhind Building picket

City UCU members at Centenary Building picket

City UCU members at Cass Business School

City UCU members at College Building picket

Health & Safety Rep Stan modelling his work place stress t-shirt

City UCU President Keith speaking at lunch time rally

Thank you! ASOS Working to contract starts today! #fairpayinHE


A massive thanks to all our members who took strike action yesterday and especially to those who braved the weather to join the picket lines  at every major entrance to City University, London. Together with our colleagues in UNITE and UNISON we delivered the largest and most effective strike in recent years. Our action was replicated across the country and demonstrated the strength of our arguments and we hope that UCEA, led by our Vice Chancellor, will quickly wish to return to the negotiating table. Today UCU start Action Short of Strike Action to keep the pressure on our Employers. Below is guidance from the National UCU;

Working to contract: What action is the union asking me to take?

UCU is calling on all members in higher education to begin working to contract and working to rule from 1 November 2013.

This means that we’re asking you to abide strictly by the terms of your contract, so the first thing to do is to dig out your contract of employment and refer to that when reading this advice.

We’ve put together this advice to help you to understand the kinds of things you should and should not be doing.

In brief, members should

  • to work no more than their contracted hours where those hours are expressly stated, or where they are stipulated in a workload agreement and in any event not to exceed the maximum number of hours per week stipulated in the Working Time Regulations (48 hours a week)
  • to perform no additional voluntary duties, such as out of hours cover, or covering for colleagues (unless such cover is contractually required)
  • to set and mark no work beyond that work which they are contractually obliged to set and/or mark
  • to attend no meetings where such attendance is voluntary on the part of the members
  • to undertake no duties that breach health and safety policies or other significant employer’s policies

Some of it sounds simple and basic but we know from experience that Universities run on significant amounts on unpaid labour and goodwill. This is what we are withdrawing in this action.

Full information including FAQ is available on