Category Archives: News

Vote of No Confidence in the University Leadership

45 staff are now ‘at risk’ of compulsory redundancy. The calls from all three campus unions for no compulsory redundancies have been ignored: [see open letters: 11.03.24 / 14.03.24 / 11.04.24 / 19.04.24 / UCU comments re 19.04.24]

The process has been clouded in secrecy and compulsory redundancies declared with no realistic opportunities for consultation, pressurising affected staff into making rushed decisions. There is a real threat of a third phase of compulsory redundancies being declared in September 2024. 

As a result, campus trade unions (UCU, UNISON and Unite) have received overwhelming calls to facilitate a Vote of No Confidence.


University of Surrey finances – a flawed ‘sector norm’ argument

University of Surrey has repeatedly justified its actions using the ‘sector norm’ argument, repeating the same line to the press: BBC / BBC / Surrey Live / Times Higher. UCU expertise, via a sector analyst, challenges this premise as the sole cause as further finance metrics place the University of Surrey well outside of the sector average. There are of course sector pressures affecting our University, but the analysis shows that the predicament at UoS is very far from ‘normal’, that the University is a financial outlier, and that there has been long-term irresponsible financial planning despite the sector trajectory and pressures being well known.

The amount of borrowing against income has been one of the highest in the country, the latest reported HESA figures show University of Surrey second only to Oxford Brookeshttps://surrey-ucu.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/Debt-to-income-HESA-data.png. The evidence suggests that in addition to reckless spending, the Executive Board have also borrowed recklessly to the point where the ‘deficit’ appears to have been planned rather than arising from circumstances outside of anyone’s control. The debt repayments are not imminent (and so would not be causing immediate pressure to reduce staff numbers), but the debt levels mean that further loans are unlikely to be secured. Rather than scale back ambitions for further capital expenditure the current leadership seem prepared to fund these through job cuts, generating a high student to staff ratio and high workloads for remaining staff.

Although the University has not been open with us about its finances, the VC has made it clear in his recent all-staff message and open letter response, that future spending is intended for buildings and refurbishment, not staff.

University communications blackout – management have deliberately kept people uninformed 

After the previous Votes of no Confidence in the Vice-Chancellor and Executive Board in 2019, Council sent an email to all-staff stating ‘’What is very clear from these votes – and the feedback in the town hall meetings – is that collectively we need to get much better at communicating, particularly in difficult times’’. So it is with great concern that at this time of unease and precarity, there has been sparse all-staff communication from the University leadership on the details of the Financial Resilience Plan since the initial announcement in March 2024. 

Summary of concerns

 Overall, the concerns expressed by members that have led to such financial instability include:

  • The volume of borrowing against income, which surpasses nearly every institution in the sector, with the exception of only two with comparable or more borrowing.
  • The millions of pounds spent on projects that are not necessary to finance, which has substantially lowered the University’s cash reserves leading to weak financial sustainability.
  • The ongoing concern that staff are regarded as a cost and not as an asset 
  • The threatening of course closures without due process 
  • The serious implications for staff well-being, including stress and workload concerns as a result of staff reductions. 
  • Recruitment continuing, despite a recruitment freeze, and alongside large scale redundancy processes.

VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE

In light of the above issues regarding the conduct of the University in relation to the Financial Resilience Plan, we would like to invite the University of Surrey community to participate in a Vote of No Confidence. Membership of a campus trade union is not a requirement. The vote relates to the Vice Chancellor, the Provost, and the Executive Board, based on the substantial concerns expressed by staff about their handling of the current situation.

This vote closes: 12 noon 17th May 2024

240411 Open Letter from the Campus Trade Unions

Dear Vice Chancellor,


We are writing to express our ongoing concerns about your Financial Resilience Programme here at the University of Surrey.


In your response, dated the 14th of March 2024, to our previous Open Letter, you claimed that staff cuts were being made because of sector-wide problems. As we knew at the time, historical borrowing and significant spending on multi-million-pound projects undermined your claim.


In the intervening weeks since our previous Open Letter, scores of staff have now accepted voluntary redundancy and it is unfortunate that we hear in some cases this has happened through coercion, or through people feeling that their hand has been forced given that you refused to remove the possibility of compulsory redundancies.


We now face a summer where many valued and experienced colleagues will leave the University of Surrey, and no all-staff communication has been forthcoming about onward plans for staff and students in the wake of such high staff losses. Neither has there been any all-staff meeting to update about your progress towards your financial goals. We only know that if you decide to make redundancies before the end of the University Financial Year on July the 31st, these will have already been planned and will need to be announced soon.


Our principal concern now relates to your future capital plans. The amount of institutional debt (an outlier in the sector) appears to be forcing you to pursue your substantial investment plans by running down cash reserves beyond a point which is sensible and then having to make cuts to free up cash to compensate and mitigate this. If the Executive Board and University Council were to dial back on substantial investment plans, then there could be a more prudent approach to the projected level of surpluses. You have not justified why staff need to lose their jobs, you have not clarified or outlined the future capital plans which are deemed so essential that they warrant targeting staff as part of an irrevocable institutional loss. Staff cuts of this magnitude and the cutting of courses will affect the
University’s reputation both in the short and medium term and would mean applicants will not be confident in applying.


In light of such lack of transparency, we therefore request:

  • An explanation as to why all-staff communication has ceased even though we are heading for significant changes across the university.
  • That the university therefore update staff on progress towards financial ambitions, specifically: i) whether VS has been sufficient for your aims, and ii) whether further measures will be needed, and if so, what these are.
  • That all programme and module changes be discussed openly and transparently with those staff and students who will be impacted and voted through at quorate Boards of Studies meetings in line with the University’s regulations.
  • That the University Executive Board make public the scale of University capital investment plans.
  • That you supply the detailed financial information which we requested, and which was promised in your 14th March letter response.

We look forward to a speedy response.


Yours sincerely,


UCU, Unite, and Unison Committees

Open Letter from the Campus Trade Unions 11.03.24

Dear Vice Chancellor,

UCU members and the wider University community are extremely concerned at the content of the message delivered in your recent all-staff meeting on the 6th of March 2024. You are calling for voluntary redundancies alongside the sale of University assets, and range of vague cost cutting exercises that involve “working in a different way” in an attempt to transform your £10M deficit into a £10M surplus in a year. Consequently, job security, increased workloads, and lack of financial transparency are many areas of concern highlighted to us by our members and other colleagues.

Your justification for the programme of voluntary severance and other cost cuts includes an ever more competitive student recruitment environment, tuition fees that have not risen with inflation, and increased energy costs. With the exception of the last point, these are the same reasons that attempted to justify the swingeing cuts five years ago as part of the Continuous Improvement Programme that resulted in a Vote of No Confidence in University Leadership. We note the lack of progress in managing these challenges, and furthermore, the incongruous investment in several multi-million-pound projects that University managers were either unaware the institution could not afford, or perhaps worse, went ahead anyway in the knowledge that they were beyond the means of the institution.

We note, as we noted in 2019, a tendency towards an Executive Board that regards staff as “costs and not assets”, with the focus entirely on crude financial savings and without any obvious consideration of the unforeseen costs in losing experience, knowledge, and expertise across a body of staff that underpin all that the University does, and that you should regard as your greatest resource. Clearly, many areas are already significantly understaffed.

However, the main purpose of this letter is to seek some early assurances so that staff do not have the spectre of uncertainty hanging over them. You raised the issue of the potential for ‘compulsory redundancies’. We therefore request:-

1. That you provide a categorical assurance that no member of staff that the recognised trade unions have bargaining rights for will be subjected to compulsory redundancy this calendar year.

2. That a VS scheme must fully incentivise applicants in order to reduce the risk of compulsory redundancies. As this is our paramount goal, we ask that you keep the VS application process open until at least the end of this academic year. This would allow those considering this option the time to make financial decisions which could involve checking pension data, considering reducing hours on a permanent or temporary basis, unpaid sabbatical etc. A 10-day period is not long enough for such life changing decisions nor to get the feedback required on the various options.

3. That you provide assurances that where “different ways of working” are planned, and where this may significantly change someone’s role, (especially where people may be outsourced or directed to sign new contracts that they may feel are on less attractive terms), then VS will be re-opened for those individuals, on the same terms as currently offered.

4. That the period, after which an employee can be made compulsorily redundant without an unsuccessful application for EVS being honoured, should be at least a year.

5. That UoS respond in detail to the UCU request for full financial transparency (formal request made to the Interim Chief Financial Officer Finance: Tuesday 5th March 2024).

We look forward to a positive reply from yourself that is sufficiently timely to allow our members an opportunity to consider your response, given the very short 10-day window that you have set for Voluntary Severance applications.

Yours sincerely

Surrey Unite, UNISON and UCU Committees

Open Letter to the Vice Chancellor regarding the 2023 ‘Not the Staff Survey’

Dear Vice Chancellor (Cc Karen Raymer, acting Chief People Officer),


As you may have been aware, we had once again this year carried out a “Not the staff survey” at a similar time to the University’s own staff survey, or People Survey as it is known, since we continue to identify the need to seek feedback from members and their colleagues on matters that we find are otherwise not picked up. There are a number of observations we can draw attention to on the way the University’s survey was carried out in relation to this one, which we will outline here.

The first observation from members and others participating in our survey is that they had more assured anonymity to submit their written comments than they did on the University’s survey. While the University’s survey was ensured to be anonymous, it is clear that a trace indicator was present to ensure each person completed the survey only once. Despite this and that an outside agency was handling the survey, there was still discomfort among staff to be honest in their viewpoints. Our survey on the other hand was completely open for anyone to complete. The nature of the comments from each individual do give us the assurance that the people responding were genuinely staff of the University while the unique responses give us some confidence in there being sufficient accuracy in the numerical results to reflect the opinions of our members and their colleagues.

With regard to the numerical results, we have repeatedly said that the change made in the 2022 People Survey regarding one of the questions set should be reversed. The original question was written as “My views are considered when the University makes significant decisions”, which existed up to 2021 and was replaced with “I have the opportunity to feed into my department/faculty when significant decisions are being made”. These two questions are distinctively different and indeed the positive scores dramatically increased in 2022 due to the change, when previously there was a substantially low score. Despite our insistence that both questions should be in the 2023 survey, this did not happen and therefore we brought out the ‘Not the staff survey’ partly to determine a difference of opinion between these two questions. The results below clearly show a difference of opinion between the two where confidence at University level is somewhat lower, though any degree of confidence in both cases this year is very low.

My views are considered when the University makes significant decisions
Agree (19%) Disagree (81%)

*The Neutral score was 0% in this result.

I have the opportunity to feed into my department/faculty when significant decisions are being made
Agree (19%) Neutral (36%) Disagree (45%)

A final point we will make on the conduct of the survey is that we have for many years argued for allowing unlimited length free text written comments. From our observation this appears to have been honoured in the latest survey which we welcome, though members and others do express concern about the lack of anonymity if they go into too much detail with their comments. We therefore hope that due to the difference in approach in this survey, that all points of concern will be taken on board and enable actions which could not be grasped from the University’s own survey. Attached to this letter is the free form comments from our respondents, which as we had declared at the start would only be visible to the UCU Surrey committee and recipients in Senior Management. Therefore, those reading this open letter externally will not see the attachment.

We will though highlight the following points that were found to occur significantly in the written feedback that we wish to draw to your attention:

– Consultations are meaningless because the so called consultation is with regard to decisions already made and then the questions are about how staff are going to adapt to them. Consultations should be about whether the leadership decisions are sensible.
– Staff turnover is intense in some parts of the University while also there are reported some abrupt fast handled restructurings over the past year that clearly had an effect on morale and momentum of the work those people are doing. It is more concerning for us as a union
that these restructurings were not brought to out attention.
– Substantial workloads imposing on staff due to the knock on effects of the recruitment freeze but also some great concern about the micro management and inappropriate, inconsistent or even hidden workload models.
– There are mixed views of the professional development review, which is often down to the reviewer and how well they are conducting it. Nonetheless there is a clear certainty, as we expected, that many reviewers and reviewees just did not know about or understand the process as it was weakly communicated. There are clearly also concerns about the operational side with the form used and improvements are necessary.

We hope that the feedback we have gathered from this survey will be taken on board and considered with due care along with the feedback from the other staff survey and are happy as ever to discuss any other details coming about from our findings.


Kind regards


The UCU Surrey Committee

240129 Open letter to the Chair of Council concerning SSC

Dear Mr Geffen,


First of all this is the first time that we have made contact with you that we are aware of as the University College Union (UCU) branch committee. We hope that you will wish to engage with us on important matters of deep concern to our members and the wider academic community that should be brought to your attention as chair of the University Council.


You will see that we have attached the following open letter to the executive board following a motion that was passed on 27th November 2023 regarding a very abrupt move of Surrey Space Centre (SSC) to the school of Maths and Physics. We hope you appreciate the impact that this had given the long-standing reputation of SSC and how this has played an important role to staff and students in Electronic Engineering and beyond.


Within the motion we had resolved that one of the actions would be to write to you and invite you to a branch meeting where you would be able to hear from members, not only on this matter specifically but also our wider concerns about the approaches taken by the University leadership that have severe consequences. It is very important in any academic community to uphold the need for academic freedom and democracy so that it will shape a University to best support the needs of the wider society. We therefore hope that you would want to share in our support for this need and come to discuss how this can be better sustained in our academic community.


Yours Sincerely,


The UCU Surrey Committee

240129 Open Letter from the Surrey UCU Committee concerning SSC

Dear Vice Chancellor (Cc the Provost)


We are writing this open letter as a resolution of a motion (appended to the end of this letter for reference) passed by members at a UCU Surrey branch meeting on 27th November 2023. It regards the very abrupt action in September 2023 where it was suddenly announced that it would be proposed to move Surrey Space Centre (SSC) to the School of Maths and Physics, followed by a very short consultation period for such a significant decision on course of direction. The rationale was shallow and did not include a detailed long-term plan for how the move would assure SSC’s long term sustainability and growth.

It is clear to us, both among members and many others in the staff body that the manner in which the move has been handled is not to anyone’s approval. This has to be acknowledged and lessons should be learned from such a mistake. We believe that the reasons for the move of SSC have not been made known and are a result of a knee jerk reaction to recent circumstances. Rather a more detailed and wider consultative approach should have been taken to determine why the move would be the best option long term for the research centre over at least the next ten years. This did not take place.

A move as significant as this will have substantial impact on the long term reputation of SSC and Electronic Engineering at the University. It is well known that Surrey has a substantial historical record of space engineering research, with a unique contribution to the space sector that cannot be found at other institutions. This has led to the delivery of our highly successful MSc programme in Space Engineering, and now the recently launched undergraduate programme in Astronautics. However, the success of those cannot be sustained without a clear link to the wide breadth engineering we deliver in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (FEPS).

We ask that by acknowledging the clear errors in this process a mistake of this nature will not be encountered again. Furthermore, we demand the FEPS Executive Board work with members and staff through deeper consultation and negotiation on the best solution for long term sustainability and growth of SSC and other research and teaching activity within the Faculty.


Yours sincerely,


The UCU Surrey Branch


Motion passed on Surrey Space Centre – 27th November 2023


UCU Surrey Notes:

· The proposal to move Surrey Space Centre (SSC) to the School of Maths and Physics was announced in September 2023 with a very short consultation period.
· The rationale was shallow and did not include a detailed long term plan for how the move would assure SSC’s long term sustainability and growth.
· The manner in which the move has been handled is not to anyone’s approval.

UCU Surrey Believes:

· The reasons for the move of SSC have not been made known and are a result of a knee jerk reaction to recent circumstances.
· The move will have substantial impact on the long term reputation of SSC and Electronic Engineering at the University.
· The move will not best support the delivery and development of our courses in Astronautics and Space Engineering at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

UCU Surrey Resolves:

· To form an open letter to the executive board expressing concern about the mishandling of the process.
· To write to the Chair of Council and invite them to a meeting to discuss concerns raised.
· To demand that the FEPS Executive Board work with members and staff through deeper consultation and negotiation on the best solution for long term sustainability and growth of SSC

Motion: Surrey Space Centre (SSC)

UCU Surrey Notes:

  • The proposal to move Surrey Space Centre (SSC) to the School of Maths and Physics was announced in September 2023 with a very short consultation period.
  • The rationale was shallow and did not include a detailed long term plan for how the move would assure SSC’s long term sustainability and growth.
  • The manner in which the move has been handled is not to anyone’s approval.

UCU Surrey Believes:

  • The reasons for the move of SSC have not been made known and are a result of a knee jerk reaction to recent circumstances.
  • The move will have substantial impact on the long term reputation of SSC and Electronic Engineering at the University.
  • The move will not best support the delivery and development of our courses in Astronautics and Space Engineering at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

UCU Surrey Resolves:

  • To form an open letter to the executive board expressing concern about the mishandling of the process.
  • To write to the chair of council and invite them to a meeting to discuss concerns raised.
  • To demand that the FEPS Executive Board work with members and staff through deeper consultation and negotiation on the best solution for long term sustainability and growth of SSC.
  • To submit a Freedom of Information request for minutes of meetings and communications regarding the proposed move prior to consultation.

[Passed at a quorate branch meeting 27.11.23]

Marking and Assessment Boycott – MAB

UCU’s higher education committee (HEC) voted to begin a marking and assessment boycott (MAB) from Thursday 20 April 2023. This means that from Thursday 20 April 2023, we are asking all UCU members in universities which are part of the UCU Rising disputes to cease undertaking all summative marking and associated assessment activities/duties. The boycott also covers assessment-related work such as exam invigilation and the processing of marks.

UCU HQ MAB FAQs: UCU – Marking and assessment boycott FAQs

UCU HQ Recorded MAB Training session, delivery notes and slides: UCU – Marking and assessment boycott 2023

UCU Branch Resources:

UCU University of Liverpool MAB video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5yNG7Fwew8

UCU Goldsmiths University MAB notes https://notesfrombelow.org/article/notes-marking-and-assessment-boycott

Notes From Below MAB Road Map https://notesfrombelow.org/article/road-map-branch-activists-organising-successful-ma

UCU QMUL 2022 notes on strikes and MABs https://qmucu.org/2022/05/03/guidance-for-participating-in-the-strike-marking-boycott/

UCU QMUL 2022 MAB advice for students https://qmucu.org/2022/05/03/letter-to-students-on-strike-action-and-marking-assessment-boycott/

UCU University of Leeds FAQs on MABs for students https://www.leedsucu.org.uk/marking-and-assessment-boycott-guidelines/

Open Letter from the Surrey UCU Committee re Staff Survey 2022

We draw to your attention the concern that UCU has over the lack of free text comments in the 2022 staff survey, even though this matter had been raised previously in a Joint Negotiation and Consultative Committee. We find from members that the survey was inhibiting staff from communicating what needs to be heard, which we believe such inhibition is silencing what management do not want to hear.


In light of this we have allowed members to complete a “Not the staff survey” in which they were given the opportunity to write free text. We have taken care to ensure that references to or indications of named people if they occurred have been removed. Our members had given consent to allow the free text to be shared with Senior Management in confidence.


We draw particular attention to the following points where we expect management to take concerns on board and seek changes to address them:


· Workloads and wellbeing of staff.
· Managerial decisions and the inhumane way that re-organisation is taking place in parts of the University.
· The lack of fully embracing flexible working.
· That employees were not given the opportunity in the staff survey to distinguish their opinions on different levels of management.
· Lack of reward and progression for professional service staff in places.
· Implementation of the curriculum development review and its workload demands.
· Support for disabled and neurodivergent staff and equality pay gaps.
· The need for senior management to actively lobby to revoke the cuts in the USS pension dispute.
· Gender pay gap issues and gender bias.


In light of the overwhelming response to this exercise from members, we request that in future years the staff survey will be clear about allowing free expression of thoughts and concerns with a free text box. We would also seek clear consultation with the campus trade unions on the questionsthat will be set. We note the importance of this particularly in regards to one question from the 2021 survey: “My views are considered when the University makes significant decisions”, which scored only 24% positive and was re-written in 2022 to become: “I have the opportunity to feed into my department/faculty when significant decisions are being made” to subsequently get 51% positive. We further note that the University has considered this to be a 27 percentage point rise, yet the two questions are clearly different. We are in unanimous agreement that a like for like comparison cannot be made between these two questions and that there is no means to prove whether there has been an improvement or decline in this matter since 2021.


We would not only wish to request to be involved in the formation of next year’s staff survey, but furthermore we would like to discuss the possibility of working together with the University on analysing the findings from the current survey. A working group of members have already expressed interest in this and as such it is an important way of evidencing clear collegiality between the University, trade unions and likewise staff in understanding what the survey is informing us on and how we can actively improve upon it.


We hope that you will take these matters on board and look forward to positive ways of working together.


Kind regards,


UCU Surrey Committee

Strike Resources

UCU members will take strike action for five consecutive days from Monday 25 September 2023 to Friday 29 September 2023

1 UCU HQ Out of Office (Strike and Action Short of Strike)

UCU – Out of office messages

2 Surrey UCU Branch Out of Office (Strike)

I am not able to check email today as members of Surrey UCU are taking industrial action, along with members at 150 other universities, due to the urgent need to press for fair pay, manageable workloads, secure contracts and equality at work. The real-terms pay of HE staff has fallen by an estimated 25% since 2009. Members of Surrey UCU will be on strike on the following days – please do not email on these days as I will not be able to respond to emails sent to me on strike days on my return.

If you would like more information about the dispute, please go to UCU – FAQs. If you are a student, please do contact [email protected] to find out what steps the University is taking to avoid a dispute, we are urgently looking for meaningful negotiations so that we can all return to work. If you are a student affected by strike action, you can also contact the Students’ Union for independent advice and support at University of Surrey Students’ Union (ussu.co.uk)

3 Surrey UCU Branch PPT slide for talking through the action with students 

4 Template response if asked whether you are taking strike action

‘Dear …. 

In accordance with legal requirements, UCU has provided employers with statistical information about UCU members taking industrial action, but not individual names.  I have been advised that there is no obligation for individuals to inform their employer / managers in advance as to whether they will be taking part in strike action or action short of a strike and am therefore not in a position to answer your enquiry.’ 

UCU HQ Strike FAQs

https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/12469/FAQs

Surrey UCU Strike Calendar

Monday 25th September 2023

Tuesday 26th September 2023

Wednesday 27th September 2023

Thursday 28th September 2023

Friday 29th September 2023

Physical Pickets

Monday 25th September 2023 08:00-10:00 Stag Entrance

Tuesday 26th September 2023 08:00-10:00 Stag Entrance

Virtual Picket

Friday 29th September 2023 Virtual Picket 08:00-09:00 (link sent to inboxes)

Emails and Outlook forwarding

Please set up auto forwarding during the strike days if your usual mode of communication for Surrey UCU is your work email. This means you will receive any updates from us without having to access your work email account.

Informing the University about your strike action

Members are under no obligation to inform HR, or indeed any other member of staff, about their intentions to undertake strike action if you are going to be on strike. If a manager asks, you can politely decline to answer that question in advance of taking part in any forthcoming action.

Members also do not need to notify the Director of HR, or anyone else, immediately after every day of strike action if strike days are consecutive.  Our first day of strike action is on Monday 25th September. After that period of strike action, if full time, your next day of work would be Monday 2nd October. That’s the day to confirm that you have taken part in action, once you have been asked to notify. If you work part-time, then you would notify, if asked, the next day that you are scheduled to work after this period of strike action.

See the relevant UCU Strike FAQ here: [TO BE LINKED TO WHEN UCU HQ UPDATE THE NATIONAL WEBSITE]

Action Short of A Strike

Please see the ASOS FAQ on the national UCU website here:
https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/12469/FAQs#Taking_’action_short_of_a_strike’_(ASOS)

Staff will begin action short of a strike (ASOS) from Wednesday 23 November onwards at institutions in England, Wales and Scotland.

Action short of a strike will consist of the following until further notice:

  • working to contract
  • not covering for absent colleagues
  • removing uploaded materials related to, and/or not sharing materials related to, lectures or classes that will be or have been cancelled as a result of strike action
  • not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action
  • not undertaking any voluntary activities.

In terms of ​rescheduling, the national UCU FAQs linked above state that by ‘lectures or classes’ we mean any activity between any UCU member and a student or group of students which involves any instruction, tuition, communicating or sharing of knowledge or guidance.

This includes teaching which would have taken place on one of UCU’s strike days and covers instructional activities undertaken by UCU members who are academic-related professional services staff, as well as academic staff. You should, if asked, refuse to reschedule such sessions, stating that you are supporting UCU’s action short of a strike.

If someone else such as a line manager or head of department has already scheduled your classes, the FAQ state that once the action has started you should not teach rescheduled classes whoever has rescheduled them.

The national UCU FAQS also outline that the reasonability of any request will depend on the terms of your contract and custom and practice. If in doubt, or if your actions are challenged by someone senior to you, you should temporarily suspend your action and contact your branch who will seek further advice.

As a result, please do not hesitate to get in touch for support if you need to, for example by contacting the Branch Administrator in the first instance. We can ask for additional guidance from our regional office on your behalf.

ASOS – Legal Guidance

In addition to the national advice above, the branch has requested additional information from our regional office. The legal advice as regards ‘rescheduling’ is as follows:

Asking for work to be made up from a strike day IF other work is not being required so that time is freed up for members to do it, is likely to be feasible legally. However,

•             the employer has to explain how they are going to free up time

•             the employer has to reschedule not the individual member

•             the employer has to be explicit about precisely what our members do not have to undertake to allow re-prioritisation

•             the employer has to explain how this will affect marking timelines

•             the employer has to explain how any rooming issues will be dealt with

•             the employer has to be clear on recognition as to how dropping other activities such as research will affect quality

UCU Picketing guidance

What is the law on picketing?  https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/12469/FAQs#What_is_the_law_on_picketing?_