Bristol UCU Newsflash, 7th December 2022

1) Strike Action and Next Steps

Thank you to striking Bristol UCU members, students, University of Bristol Unison, fellow trade unionists and supporters from across Bristol and the South West.

Our strike action has seen the first breakthrough of the dispute: we are now talking to employers about pay and conditions, with a view to reaching a deal before the end of January next year.

We have yet not heard anything as regards ongoing USS pension talks between USS employers and UCU.

As we enter our UoB Winter Vacation period, and a period of intense UCU and UCEA pay and conditions negotiations, UCU members across the UK should prepare themselves to take further hard-hitting strike action. We all hope that a dispute-settling deal emerges from the UCEA-UCU talks. In the event of no such satisfactory settlement, UCU will, no doubt, have to plan for further industrial action including a marking and assessment boycott.

2) Reporting Strike Action: Notifying Your Employer That You Took Strike Action

The deadline for reporting strike action is Friday, 9th November, by sending an email to  

You may have missed this, as despite Bristol UCU reps constantly pointing out that staff need to be reminded in a separate, dedicated email, the information continues to be ‘buried’ in long emails and SharePoint.

For more information:

Bristol UCU recommends your email simply need note the dates you were on strike, and that you would like to maintain your pension contributions. If a part-time, fractional member of staff, you also need to make it clear the hours you did not work. We have already notified the University that you are taking Action Short of a Strike as a UCU member.

Bristol UCU recommends that you simply email the industrial-action-response email address, not your line manager in addition.  

Staff with a USS pension: when you notify that you have taken strike action, you should include any confirmation that you want to maintain full USS contributions for each day of action.

TSRs/Hourly-Paid Teachers: all teaching delivery hours not undertaken because of strike action are claimable from our Bristol UCU Local Hardship Fund.

The email notifying HR that you took strike action is a required document for making a claim from the Hardship Fund.

3) Bristol UCU Local Hardship Fund

Before making a claim to our Local Hardship Fund, please read our Guidance Note [link].

To highlight:

  • TSR/HPTs need to include the following 6 pieces of information in their email to i. HPT contract; ii. How many lost contact hours you are claiming for; iii. Notification email to HR; iv. A previous pay-slip; v. Bank details for making payment; vi UCU Membership number
  • You can claim now if a Bristol UCU member on an hourly-paid contract
  • If a Bristol UCU member on fixed term or open-ended contracts who receive regular monthly salaries and are on Grade J and below, or Grade K and above earning £30,000 pa or less, you can claim when you have your pay slip with strike deductions in January 2023
  • TSR and HPTs: can claim for all teaching hours not taught due to being on a strike day
  • Grade J or below/earning £30K or less: up to £75 for the first day of strike action taken only. For second and third day, see national Fighting Fund

For details regarding the national Fighting Fund:

Please note: members who are currently Student members but should be Standard Free members will be asked to change their membership to Standard Free.

4) Action Short of Strike

We are still taking ASOS.

UCU members are not covering for absent colleagues. Refuse to provide cover, for example, if a colleague is unwell and you are asked to take on their teaching or other work

UCU members are working to contract

UCU members, if they teach, are not rescheduling teaching which took place on a strike day, and are not supplying replacement materials for teaching which did not take place on a strike day

UCU members are not undertaking voluntary tasks

Please note that none of the above is considered a breach of contract by the University of Bristol management, and no pay docking will be or should be threatened.