Industrial Action: Tuesday 22 & Thursday 24 March 2011

A message from Ian Cheetham, Director of Human Resources:

We have been notified by the University & College Union (UCU) that its 432 members at the University of Bath will be taking strike action on Tuesday 22 & Thursday 24 March 2011.

This action is in support of their disputes about “proposed detrimental changes to the University Superannuation Scheme (USS) and retaining comparable benefits” and the “National Pay Claim 2010 regarding job protection and pay”.

The USS Joint Negotiating Committee meetings due to be held on 2, 9 & 17 March 2011 to consider changes to the USS rules had to be postponed as UCU delegates chose not to attend.

The University has already implemented the National Pay Award for 2010 which had been agreed by Unison, Unite and GMB.

It is regrettable that UCU has decided to take this action because of the potential for disruption of student studies. The main aim of the University on these days will be, as far as possible, to minimise the impact of any industrial action on the student experience.

If you strike

You will appreciate that we have no knowledge of which of our staff are members of a trade union. UCU nationally are advising their members that they do not need to inform employers if they will be participating in strike action but have advised their members to inform their employers after the event when asked.

I would therefore ask you to notify your Head of Department by Friday 25 March 2011 if you have participated in strike action on either of these days.

Members of staff who decide to take strike action will be considered to be in breach of their contract of employment and the University will withhold 1/260th of their annual salary for each day of strike action.

Picket lines

It is anticipated that there will be pickets at the University entrances on the days of strike action and some staff have expressed concern about crossing picket lines.

The purposes of picketing are to peacefully obtain and communicate information, and peacefully persuade a person to work or not to work. There should not be more than six pickets at any entrance.

If staff decide not to cross picket lines, they will also be treated as taking strike action and have pay withheld.

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching) and Heads of Department will ensure that the impact of the industrial action is communicated to our students.

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