IT Strike info for staff
UPDATED 27 Jan
Strikes will take place on each of the 5 days in the first week of the next semester, Monday 8 – Friday 12 February 2021.
No live (‘synchronous’) activities will take on strike days.
Strike pay claims
The generosity of donations from fellow UCU branches, our own Brighton Unison branch and many other groups and individuals across the country means that we are able to support members who are financially hardest-hit by strike pay deductions. Use the form below to make an application to the strike hardship fund
Working to Contract
The work-to-contract (W2C) will involve sticking to our contracted 37 hours a week, and withdrawing goodwill by declining to perform tasks for which we have no hours allocated in our workload. The W2C also provides the legal protection to refuse to reschedule classes and activities lost on strike days.
To collectivise this action, we are asking members to post ‘Things that Couldn’t Be Done’ each week here: https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/ucu/wtc-things-there-were-no-time-for/
Work to contract continues indefinitely, see this document for info:
Dispute Update Jan 2021
During this hiatus between strikes, UCU has contacted management to make it clear that the dispute over redundancies in IT Support can now be settled by rescinding the dismissal of one member of staff. The other UCU member at the heart of this dispute has found other employment and would no longer be part of a settlement.
This dispute could easily be settled
The fact that the dispute hinges on only one person should make it easier to settle. This is especially the case given that it is clear that Charlie is not redundant. As we reported last week, the University is trying to get away with allocating his work to others on lower grades.
If the dispute is not yet settled, it is because the University does not want to settle it. Why would they risk another spell of strike action in order to dismiss a member of staff they still need?
The University does not want compromise
There can only be one reason. They are determined to prove to themselves and to us that they can push through every redundancy they choose to make. And the only reason that is so important to them is because they plan to follow up with more redundancies.
It is not hard to guess what they have in mind. This week both Leicester and Liverpool universities have announced programmes of redundancies of academic staff. University of East London drove through a clutch of academic dismissals last term. UCU members are currently taking or preparing to take industrial action in response to the threat of compulsory redundancies at both Goldsmiths College and Southampton Solent.
Higher Education employers are using the pandemic as an opportunity to slim their workforces and cut their wage bills.
Size and Shape is the next threat to jobs
Brighton University’s mechanism for cutting jobs is called Size and Shape. So far, this has proceeded cautiously, but now that the new school leadership teams are in place, attention is turning to the ‘rationalisation’ of course provision. Some groups of staff are already being told that they and their courses do not fit the profile of their current school and they are to be transferred to another one.
How long before some course teams are told, as Geology and Chemistry already have been, that their work does not fit anywhere and their courses will no longer be allowed to recruit?
No start to Semester 2: Defend every job
That is why the last UCU members meeting voted to continue to fight this dispute. Senior management are testing our resolve. Only our unity and determination to pursue the current dispute can stop the damage that has already been wreaked on IT support being followed immediately by a more serious attack on schools.
We need to plan how to make our forthcoming week of strikes as effective as possible. We need to make common cause with the growing numbers of our students who are tired of being treated as numbers in a balance sheet and are demanding rent and fee rebates.
We have to make it more painful for the University to risk losing the first week of Semester 2 than to swallow its pride and reach a settlement with us.
Come to the members meeting next Wednesday to be part of this planning.
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See our Wall of Support
Hearing students’ outrage at the threat of redundancies shows us that they’re behind our action. Wall of Support