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Update on Industrial Action

Your UCU branch officers and regional official have met with UEL management three times since the close of the UCU ballot to seek a negotiated resolution to the current dispute. Issues under discussion have been a new agreed academic workload allocation process and the management proposals to remove line management responsibilities from the PL grade and end the inappropriate use of the £3k special responsibility allowance. There has been no discussion yet regarding changes to the University appeals procedures. Overall, while there has been some progress, progress towards a resolution of the dispute is not as clear as we would have liked.

We have a clear mandate from members to take action, with 73.2% in favour of strike action and 90.1% in favour of action short of strike.

Under current trade union legislation a union is required to initiate industrial action within 28 days of the result of a ballot in favour of action, or the ballot falls and no action is possible without a fresh ballot. We need to serve notice of industrial action now to maintain pressure on the University to resolve the issues of dispute without delay.

UCU national officers have agreed that we need to serve notice of industrial action on the employer. UCU members will be asked to work to contract from Thursday 24th May as an initial stage in that action. A briefing on what that means in practice will be sent to members by the end of the week.

UCU national officers have also agreed that, if the dispute is still not resolved, then notice of strike action to commence at the end of the month may be served.

Members should be assured that we will continue talking to management and remain hopeful that negotiations will reach a satisfactory resolution and that industrial action can be avoided. We will keep you informed of any further progress and will report to members at a branch meeting on


Tuesday 22 May 2012

1.30 to 2.30

Room T.B.A.


For the convenience of the majority of members and with the aim of maximising attendance, this meeting will be held at Docklands campus.


UCU’s National Head of Higher Education, Michael MacNeil, will attend the meeting.


It is important that the national union is made aware of how strongly members feel about the issues in dispute. Please make every effort to attend this vital meeting where progress in negotiations will be reported and the branch’s future actions discussed.


Please put 1.30, Tuesday 22 May in your diaries now and do all that you can to attend this important meeting.



For and on behalf of UCU @ UEL Branch Committee

University and College Union UCU


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