UCU - Pensions and Pay Disputes

Discussion in 'UK politics, current affairs and news' started by SpackleFrog, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. aqua

    aqua made of cheese and gin

    or with a partner who is self employed and their industry fucked atm :( I simply cannot afford to strike this much - I'm genuinely terrified about what I can do.
  2. BoatieBird

    BoatieBird Well-Known Member


    It's worrying isn't it?
  3. seeformiles

    seeformiles Lost in the wood

    When strike action was mooted at the HEI I worked for, the senior management sent a stern message to all staff making it clear that while they accepted Unionisation in the workplace (through gritted teeth) staff considering taking part were very irresponsible, were sabotaging “the student experience” and should rethink their position on the matter. This after senior management took a 16.7% pay rise while the rest of us were supposed to be grateful for 0.5% ? I also got into trouble for bringing refreshments to the picket line on days when my Union wasn’t taking action but another one was - threatened with a verbal warning for making tea using “University Electricity” ffs...
    ska invita and Rosemary Jest like this.
  4. aqua

    aqua made of cheese and gin

    Yep, sure is. And I'm sure we're not the only people in this position irrelevant of income level within the union. 14 days is fucking insane. I wonder how many won't strike.
  5. BoatieBird

    BoatieBird Well-Known Member

    That's crazy.

    Luckily I've never had any pressure not to take action... so far.
    seeformiles likes this.
  6. redsquirrel

    redsquirrel This Machine Kills Progressives

    Is it? It's a lot but then this is a really serious issue. And what's the alternative? I'm not going to pretend that it won't be difficult for some but it's been shown time and time again over the last 20 years that 24/48 hour strikes don't do shit. Look at the doctors, they lost because when it can down to it they weren't prepared to use their industrial muscle. This is what politics is.
    Rosemary Jest and flypanam like this.
  7. Lord Camomile

    Lord Camomile Lemonade socialist

    Fucking hell, particularly "university electricity" and "the student experience". Just like the NHS and "it's the patients who suffer" :rolleyes:

    Kind of as suggested above, there are usually "hardship funds" available for these situations. Obviously it very much depends on what's available and I appreciate it doesn't make it easy, but might be worth looking into to see if it might make it at least manageable?
    seeformiles likes this.
  8. aqua

    aqua made of cheese and gin

    I get the severity but what other decision is there going to be? Pensions are fucked for everyone. Striking or not, capitalism isn't going anywhere, despite how much I'd liked it to.

    Sorry, I know you're going to say they'll just win then, or what else do we have other than labour etc. I get that. I've just never been in a position where action means my mortgage won't get paid. I've never scabbed. It is really worrying.

    Another group I'm a member of has a lot of people saying they would have voted for strike action had they known of how many days it would involve. That's how I feel. 14 days :(
  9. aqua

    aqua made of cheese and gin

    I'm going to talk to my union rep this week I think.
    Lord Camomile likes this.
  10. redsquirrel

    redsquirrel This Machine Kills Progressives

    Then by this argument all workers should just give up now. And why are pensions fucked for everyone? Partly because too many unions have rolled over, because far too many people, including union members, view striking as a PR stunt rather than a means to use your industrial muscle.

    Look at the main (only) union in the UK which actually wins dispute these days - the RMT. It takes action and it wins rights for it's members because its members stand firm and recognise the primary purpose of strike action - to cause our employer as much disruption as possible.

    So rather than do 14 days (possibly) which might have an effect we should have done what? A couple of 48 hr strikes and then capitulated. What's the point of that?
  11. Lord Camomile

    Lord Camomile Lemonade socialist

    Good luck, hope there's something that can be done :) Honestly not sure what the situation is like at my place, but our branch has a committee meeting coming up so going to raise it there.
  12. redsquirrel

    redsquirrel This Machine Kills Progressives

    14 days in two months is a lot (at least these days), and it will be tough for some, but that's the point. This is a battle we can win if we are prepared to stand firm and cause that level of disruption.

    EDIT: It's worth remembering that some RMT members have already given up three days pay this year, on top of the days they lost in 2017. And most of those comrades will be on a lower scale than UCU members. If the RMT can hold firm then why can't the UCU?
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
    The Pale King and muscovyduck like this.
  13. Miss-Shelf

    Miss-Shelf I've looked at life from both sides now

    I couldn't pay my bills / mortgage with that much strike action in such a short period of time
    I wouldn't have voted for such an extensive strike either
  14. Magnus McGinty

    Magnus McGinty Wh♂️

    Well don’t give up before the first day as that’s the litmus test for who you’re fighting as to whether they’ll win or not. If everyone gives up they’ve won. Of course most will struggle for 14 days but so will the opposition.
  15. purenarcotic

    purenarcotic Conveniently Pocket Sized

    I’m unclear on this stuff but at what point does strike pay kick in? When the bin workers went on strike in Brum one of the big things Unite punted was that they wouldn’t be starved back to work because the rate of strike pay was so good. Do you have to be off for a certain period or can you claim for any time off?
  16. aqua

    aqua made of cheese and gin

    Yep, no strike pay until day four and only then under certain circumstances. Our branch have some money to help but with over 200 members it won't go far.
  17. Miss-Shelf

    Miss-Shelf I've looked at life from both sides now

    That's presuming a lot about members other income and that members can still afford essentials with that loss of pay
  18. PursuedByBears

    PursuedByBears Go stick your head in a pig

    We got this email from the local UCU Exec today

  19. redsquirrel

    redsquirrel This Machine Kills Progressives

    You're RMT right? How many days did Northern and Southern RMT members strike for in 2017?
  20. SpackleFrog

    SpackleFrog Smash showy bell-bottom pants and sporty haircuts

    Hardship funds at branch level, strike pay capped at £75 a day after 3 or 4 days from national. I believe.

    There is help there if you ask for it so please everyone do that if you need to. As redsquirrel said there's absolutely no point in striking for 2 days and giving up. If it weren't for our history of doing exactly that I doubt the attack on pensions would be so massive. This needs to be seen as a test of our organisation - if we can't take members with us and do this then we might as well stop bothering with national bargaining until such time as we can cos we can't back it up.
  21. SpackleFrog

    SpackleFrog Smash showy bell-bottom pants and sporty haircuts

  22. redsquirrel

    redsquirrel This Machine Kills Progressives

  23. stethoscope

    stethoscope Well-Known Member

    Unison now balloting - got my papers through today :thumbs:
    The Pale King and redsquirrel like this.
  24. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    over pensions or pay? shouldn't really have to ask being as i get emails from two branch committees :facepalm:

    you get a ballot paper, i get the winter copy of u: the magazine for all unison members and their families.
    Rosemary Jest and heinous seamus like this.
  25. aqua

    aqua made of cheese and gin

    the strike fund isn't going to be that generous, and will (as is right) start with the more vulnerable - phd/ecrs/fragile contracts etc. Which still leaves the rest of us skint as fuck :(
    I've heard that the hope is it won't take more than the first 5 days. Not so sure I believe that tbh. I'm the only person in my office unionised. This is going to make for fucking uncomfortable work place life.
    Still out though.
    Sue, Sunset Tree and Lord Camomile like this.
  26. seeformiles

    seeformiles Lost in the wood

    In my experience, there would be planned strike action but the Uni management liaised with certain union reps to ensure the strike was on a day when there would be minimal disruption (e.g. Wednesday - where inter uni sports events are held) thus neutering the effects. I got annoyed from the point of view that, if I was going to lose a day’s pay, the strike should cause as much disruption as possible (Monday, Tuesday or Thursday) . This and too many non-unionised staff fucked it for everyone who was taking part. Very demoralising. Sometimes you feel like the standard bearer for an obsolete idea.
    Sue and Rosemary Jest like this.
  27. redsquirrel

    redsquirrel This Machine Kills Progressives

    That's why this action is better, the two, three, four, five day stoppages should stop (or at least reduce) that type of nonsense.
    Rosemary Jest and seeformiles like this.
  28. Monkeygrinder's Organ

    Monkeygrinder's Organ Dodgy geezer swilling vapid lager

    Heard anything? I'm in Unison and haven't heard much at all. Would be nice if they'd put something more out there tbh.
  29. Monkeygrinder's Organ

    Monkeygrinder's Organ Dodgy geezer swilling vapid lager

    Actually would appreciate thoughts from anyone in the other unions tbh.

    As a Unison member what to do - while I want to support the strike it's not my union, I haven't had a vote and potentially 14 days is a lot. And if I'm entirely honest I don't see UCU or the academic staff going out in support of the SAUL scheme. Thoughts?
    Pickman's model likes this.
  30. heinous seamus

    heinous seamus til clay-cauld death shall blind my ee

    I got this in an email from them the other day:

    UNISON Advice

    UNISON encourages members in universities to support their UCU colleagues on picket lines and lunchtime protests and attend rallies organised by UCU. Branches are encouraged to engage with the local UCU branch to see what activities are taking place on site and think of ways that we can show solidarity, within the constraints of current legislation.

    However, UNISON members in universities have not yet been balloted in relation to the USS dispute, and therefore must continue with their normal duties and responsibilities. However UNISON members should not take on any additional responsibilities given to them as a result of the UCU industrial action. If members are instructed by their manager to undertake additional duties resulting from the industrial action they should contact their branch or regional office for further advice

    Members are reminded that due to industrial relations legislation only those employees who have been involved in a legal ballot are allowed to take industrial action.


    Official Picket Lines

    Refusal to cross an official picket line could render members of staff liable to disciplinary action including deduction of salary. The exception to this is where there are genuine grounds to believe that crossing the picket line could put the person concerned at risk of injury.

    UNISON members are advised that they should assure the UCU members that they will not undertake any work normally done by those on strike.

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