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Strike related advice for non-members

February 18, 2010

Non-members who wish to support the strike days are welcome to sign up and  join UCU, to benefit from the union’s protection. You may join up to and including on the picket line.

Academic staff, admin/library/computing and other related grade 6 staff should note that they are considered “employees with autonomous decision making powers” as regards the working time directive. Following advice from UCEA, the University considers you to be exempt from the working time directive by using the argument you fit into that category (see this document). Your flexibility therefore should not be queried. Non-members in these categories may wish to arrange their hours flexibly around strike days.

Some Schools (English, for example) have declared that they will not be counting student absences on strike days. Students have been asking for this lenient approach to absences  on strike days as they fear that an absence mark for not wishing to cross a picket line might be discriminatory on the grounds of ideological stance. Similarly, seminars which go ahead might discriminate against those students who take an ethical position against crossing a picket line.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. H H Chau permalink
    February 18, 2010 7:59 PM

    I wouldn’t think this article clarify anything at all. The wording of the HR letter is ambiguous at best.

    “… staff who are not members of the UCU are expected to work normally.”

    What’s anyone expectation’s is immaterial. The key question is whether of it’s legal or not for a non UCU member to strike. I have the impression that employment law do not differentiate union members or otherwise. Any employment lawyer care to shed some light?

  2. February 19, 2010 9:25 AM

    As is standard trade union practice, UCU in its notice of intention to strike to the employer did not include non-members. However, UK law makes no distinction between union members and non members who participate in industrial action.

  3. H H Chau permalink
    February 19, 2010 10:04 PM

    Thank you for the clarification.

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