Bristol UCU Newsflash, 24th November 2021

Please note that a comprehensive all-member email will be sent on Monday, 29th November with further and final details as regards the below and other important information.

1)  Bristol UCU Picket Lines, Wednesday, 1st December

We will be picketing from 08:30 Wednesday morning next week. School and Department picket locations and details as regards Thursday and Friday next week will be shared on Monday next week.  
Speak to your local School or Department rep for more information, or email ucu-office@bristol.

Pickets will be followed by a rally at the main picket outside the Victoria Rooms.

2) Strike Pay & Local Hardship Fund

Strike pay for Bristol UCU members will be available from the first day of taking strike action, through our branch Local Hardship Fund and the UCU’s UK-wide Fighting Fund.

Members will be able to claim for the second day of strike action from the Fighting Fund: either a daily £50/earning over £30,000 or £75/earning under £30,000 rate.

Our Local Hardship Fund will cover the first day of action.
Details t.b.c. but our Local Hardship Fund terms and conditions will be very similar if not identical to our previous terms and conditions [link]:

  • It will cover the first day of strike action taken, after which UCU’s national Fighting Fund kicks in. (all members participating in strike action will be able to claim for the second day of the strike action onwards.)
  • The Local Hardship Fund will prioritize precarious and low-paid members.
  • Applications open to HPT/TSA members and members on fixed-term or open-ended contracts on Grade J and below, and/or in part-time roles where they earn £30,000 pa or less
  • HPT/TSA members will be able to claim for all contact hours lost; other applicants, up to £75 for their first day of action

To donate to our Local Hardship Fund, click on the link below for details:

3) Notification of Taking Strike Action

You are under no obligation to inform University of Bristol management in advance as to whether you will be taking part in strike action or action short of a strike. UCU provides the University with all relevant information.

Once you are back to work following the strike action, you should respond truthfully to any query from your employer as to whether you have taken or are taking industrial action. You should not, however, respond to any such query while you are on strike.

4) Rescheduling Teaching

To quote from University of Bristol SharePoint [link], the university has ‘an agreement with UCU that we will not be asking UCU members to make up for lost teaching time’.

Teaching staff: do not reschedule lectures/classes or attend rescheduled lectures/classes.

5) Use of Lecture/Teaching Recordings 

The University of Bristol does not require use of lecture capture of lectures from previous years to replace teaching cancelled due to industrial action. It is a matter of individual choice for the lecturer/teacher to use recordings of their teaching – UCU asks you not to do so – and it is not mandated by the University.

This institutional position has been the position for the last two sets of strikes, and Bristol UCU considers it the current institutional position.

6) UCU Strike FAQs

UCU maintains a Frequently Asked Questions website:
For example:

  • I am a PhD student, research fellow, or postdoctoral scholar fully funded by external bodies but do not wish to cross the picket line. What do I do?
  • What if I am part-time?
  • Will participating in strike action affect my entitlement to statutory maternity pay (SMP)?