UCU members at Imperial College London have two separate mandates to take strike action. The first dispute is UK-wide and is in opposition to cuts to the USS pension scheme. The second – that of pay – is local to Imperial, because College management withdrew from national collective bargaining on pay several years ago. UCU – alongside Unite – will be taking action against management’s disgraceful imposition of real-terms pay cuts on 30 November. Unison’s ballot for industrial action also closes on that day.
The following information, advice and guidance is specific to Imperial. For more general information, please refer to the UCU main pages, in particular the FAQs. If you have questions or comments please contact any of the elected UCU reps or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In person picketing will take place on each of the three mornings starting at 8am. Picketing will only take place on the South Kensington campus. The Exhibition Road vehicle and pedestrian entrance to Imperial College Road will be the main hub for us. If you’re not sure where to go when you turn up, please report to this location.
At 10.30 am each day we will hold a meeting with all in-person picketers. We’ll then continue picketing in person until lunchtime.
The picket supervisors will be Roddy Slorach and Toby Andrew. Please contact one of them if you have any concerns on the day. Any person not involved with the strike action with a concern should be directed towards them.
How can you support us?
- Join the strike days on 24, 25 and 30 November! Meet 8am on Exhibition road.
- Support the Action Short of Strike (ASOS) from 30 November
- Email management (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org) to say you support the staff pay claim (template here)
- Speak with colleagues and students about the disputes (student info slides available)
- Update your out-of-office and email signature (template here)
- Join a union. There are three at Imperial College: UCU, Unite, Unison
- If you are a Unison member and have received a ballot, please post it urgently and let your rep know you have voted
Statement from the Joint Trade Unions
Our pay claim is modest. It would partially protect the value of our salaries at Imperial – and is affordable to the College. However, the College has rejected the claim outright, instead insisting upon a dismal 3.3% offer (which is yet another pay cut in real terms), a derisory one-off “cost of living supplement” that does nothing to offset the effects of inflation and the insulting suggestion of setting up a “pop-up shop” to sell “discounted food staples” to impoverished staff members and students.
In the face of such intransigence and wrong College priorities, the only thing that will focus the minds of senior management is to take decisive industrial action that cannot be ignored. That is why we are asking for you to join the 3-days of strike action with the aim of shutting down the College. If we do this, we believe the dispute could be swiftly resolved. We would like to remind you that all staff can legitimately join the 3-day strike action, whether or not you are currently in a union, since ALL employees are legally entitled to do this:
“Non-union staff and striking: If non-union members go on strike, they are protected from dismissal and have the same rights as union members, as long as the industrial action is lawful.” (https://www.gov.uk/if-your-business-faces-industrial-action/nonunion-employees-and-strikes)
Please note that the situation at Imperial is distinct from most universities involved in strike action in that pay is a local issue here because our employer withdrew from national pay bargaining. UCU members will therefore take strike action over USS pensions on 24 and 25 November and over pay on 30 November.
Industrial action being taken:
UCU: National strike over pensions (24, 25 & 30 November) & ASOS (23 Nov onwards)
UCU and Unite: Branch strike action over pay at Imperial (30 November). UCU two additional measures of ASOS (30 Nov onwards)
UNISON: Balloting membership for strike action over local pay
National UCU is making its Fighting Fund available to those members who participate in the strike according to these rules:
- Daily rates will be £75 for members in UCU subscription bands F3-6 (those earning under £30,000) and £50 for members in bands F0-F2 (those earning £30,000 and over)
- All members participating in strike action will be able to claim for the second day of the strike action onwards
- The officers will review this position and make further decisions if / when further strike action is called in the new year.