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Strike FAQs

Published: 29th November, 2021

Full information about the Four Fights and FAQs in relation to strike action can be found here. Below are some helpful answers to common queries of Leicester UCU members.

Why are we going on strike?

In defence of the Four Fights.

What does taking strike action mean?

Strike action means not doing any work for all of the days specified by the union. This includes any activity which is part of your work such as teaching, administration, meetings, emails relating to work, marking, research or conferences where you are directly or indirectly representing your employer. It also means not doing any preparation for work that you are due to do when you return to work after your strike. In a nutshell, don’t do any work at all on strike days!

Where are the pickets?

Picket lines will be located at Victoria Park (Attenborough entrance).  Campus Entrance 1 (University Road, Carpark), Campus Entrance 2 (University Road, Mayor’s Walk), and Lancaster Road (George Davies Centre).

How/when do I report strike action?

The recommended method of reporting strike action is via our online form.

You should not report until after strike action has completed. You may want to use the following out of office reply whilst you are on strike:

I am currently unavailable as I am striking in defence of the Four Fights.

You can support us by joining UCU (and taking part in strike action).

I will respond to your email on my return — though there may be a delay in my response. 

Why picket?

The picket line is a key tool in making strike action effective. The strength and size of pickets show management, the public, the press and our colleagues how determined UCU is to win the dispute. In addition, picketing can be an incredible experience. Besides the camaraderie, picketing is a great way to meet your colleagues and students, not only those from your own department or section, but from across the university. Unbounded by the strictures of University-Leadership-sanctified structures, the picket line can be thought of as the ultimate trans-disciplinary event. 

What do I need to bring?

You are the most important thing! You may wish to bring placards, which you are welcome to do. Also think about bringing your own water bottle to keep hydrated and snacks. Wrap up warm and arrive prepared for the elements. We discourage members from buying items from University catering outlets, but feel free to visit local businesses on Queens Road and London Road. 

Can we access University Facilities?

Yes. We have agreed with security that those on pickets can use WCs in University buildings. You can also make use of the bike and car parks as you would normally.

How can I participate virtually?

If you are unable to make it to campus, you can still make your voice and your action heard! You can join the virtual events each day. Full details of the schedule can be found here. There are also a number of national online teach outs, full info here.

Share your participation on social media, using the hashtags #OneOfUsAllOfUs and #FourFightsLeicester.

Where can I find details of the strike days?

Details of what is happening (and where) on each strike day can be found here. This is being regularly updated as new activities, speakers and events are confirmed. We encourage members to participate where possible and to show solidarity with one another.

Are there any exemptions from having to take industrial action?

No. All UCU members employed at the institution are called upon to take action.

Will the UCU be paying strike pay?

The University of Leicester has informed us that all three strike days will be deducted from January’s pay packet. Full details about access to the fighting fund can be found here.

I have external commitments at another institution not affected by the dispute on a strike day – should I fulfil them?

If the external commitments arise from your employment with the institution where the strike is taking place, then you should not fulfil them. For example, if you were due to attend a conference in your capacity as a lecturer at a strike bound university you should not go.

What can I tell my students about the strike?

Tell them the reasons you are striking, and what this may mean (cancellations of classes, etc.). They are welcome to join us on the physical pickets, and there will be opportunities to join in virtual events too. 

I am not a member of UCU, if I join can I then take part in the action?

Yes, if you join UCU you will be able to participate in the action with the protection of the union as soon as you are signed up. While non-UCU members have the legal right to participate in strike action at their workplace our strong recommendation is that you join UCU so you have the protection of a trade union before you join the action.

If you have provided the details requested on the form your membership will be active from the date of application. This means that you are able to take part in any strike action while awaiting your membership number.

I am a research fellow fully funded by external bodies but I don’t want to cross the picket line. What do I do?

It depends upon who your contract is with. If it is with your home institution and that university is on strike you should join the action. If your contract is with a body who is not part of the dispute you should not take action. If you need further advice contact mwaddup@ucu.org.uk.

I am on study or research leave during the strikes – what should I do?

If your leave is unpaid you have no labour to withdraw and cannot join the strikes. If your leave is paid you should join the strikes.

I am booked to be on annual leave during the strikes – what should I do?

If your annual leave is essential you should take it as planned and donate to the strike fund. If your leave is not essential you may wish to move it so that you can participate in the action alongside colleagues.