UCU Announce Strike Action

Following the balloting of UCU members in September and October, the University and College Union (UCU) has announced three days of strike action: Thursday 24 November, Friday 25 November, and Wednesday 30 November.

Following the balloting of members in September and October, the University and College Union (UCU) has announced three days of strike action:

  • Thursday 24 November
  • Friday 25 November
  • Wednesday 30 November

Royal Holloway is one of 150 universities that will be involved in this latest round of national strike action that covers two different topics: pay and working conditions, and pensions. This means that UCU members on campus will cancel all work on those days and any work missed, including lost teaching, will not be rearranged. It’s important to emphasise here that you will not be assessed on any material that was not taught due to the strikes.

In addition to this, action short of a strike will begin on Wednesday 23 November, and last for six months. What this generally means is that UCU members will be working to contract i.e. if their contract states 35 working hours a week, this is what they will strictly abide by without any additional work beyond this (it can be typical for academics to work additional hours outside of their contracted hours). It also includes refusing to make up work lost as a result of strike action and refusing to cover for absent colleagues. There is also the potential for further strike action in 2023.

I understand that strike action may be worrying. Alongside your SU President Maia Jarvis, I'll be in discussions with the University's senior management team to understand how any disruption to your studies can be mitigated. We are also in communication with the Royal Holloway UCU branch and will be working with them to understand how localised issues may be resolved.

As you can imagine this is a complex situation. That’s why over the past two months, we’ve published a series of blogs aimed at helping you to navigate the different issues at play and understand how we have arrived at this point where teaching on campus is disrupted. I’d recommend checking them all out using the links below:

What will we be doing?

Last week, we announced the results of our own ballot to decide what the Students’ Union's stance should be towards the UCU industrial action, with students voting to fully support the action up to, and including strike action. As a result, we are committing to the following:

  • Supporting UCU in their communication directly to students.
  • Asking the University to develop an action plan to address these concerns.
  • Offering support to students running activities in support of the UCU.

In order to be guided by you, it’s important that you inform yourself by reading the articles we’ve published and letting us know your opinion. You can contact us to raise specific concerns by emailing vpeducation@su.rhul.ac.uk and I’ll consider these in my discussions with all parties.

We promise to fight for your academic interests and continue to keep you in the loop. Although we do have a mandate to support the strike action as set by you, we will endeavour to still represent those who may not support the strike action, by supporting the resolution of the two issues.