Law School Update: Industrial Action
As you probably know, members of UCU (the union for academics and many members of professional services) will be taking industrial action from 25 November. There will be two types of industrial action:
a) A strike for 8 working days from 25 November to 4 December (that is, week 9 and the first half of week 10).
b) Action short of a strike, which will continue next term. This is unlikely to affect you.
Trade union members have the right to take industrial action if members are properly balloted and if there are sufficient votes in favour. In this case there were proper ballots and very substantial majorities in favour of taking this action at Warwick and at many other Universities. As the Vice-Chancellor said in his blog on Tuesday, this action will be taking place at around 60 universities across the UK.
I do not know how many members of the Law School will be striking, and union members have no obligation to let me or you, the students, know. But I anticipate that many will strike, and that many lectures and seminars will be cancelled as a result. These classes will not be done by anyone else.
I am very sorry about this. And I know that UCU members greatly regret it as well. The action is not directed at you, or at Warwick University itself, but at the University pension scheme and the universities employers association. When negotiations fail, industrial action is often the only method union members have to pressure employers to negotiate further. Indeed it is possible that as a result of the imminent industrial action the employers will negotiate over the next week or so and that UCU will therefore cancel or postpone the action.
We will do all we reasonably can to minimize the effect of this dispute on you. The university has mechanisms in place to take into account any effect that this might have on your academic performance – though I do not think that your work will be seriously affected. Please be assured that I, the University as a whole, and all my colleagues in the Law School, have your best interests at heart.
I will, of course, keep you informed about any changes or additions to the industrial action plans.
In the meantime, I will be away on University business from 18-27 November. Professor Andrew Williams will be Acting Head of Department during that time (which includes the first 3 days of the strike). If there is anything you’d like to ask or know about, feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
14 November 2019
For more information please read the ‘Strike FAQs for Warwick Students’ on the UCU website: http://warwickucu.org.uk/strike-faq-for-warwick-students/ or,
Stuart Croft’s VC blog: https://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/execteam/entry/update_on_industrial/