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First day of strike


Pay Dispute

Please ensure that you vote in the ballot over the pay dispute. An email will have been sent to you by Sally Hunt the general secretary of UCU and this email contains your unique voting id. You will also need your UCU membership number to vote. The video clip  demonstrates that students support the action being taken (more…)

Living Wage Campaign

Please take a minute to sign the Reading students’ petition urging the University to pay its workers (cleaners, caterers, front of house and casual staff) the living wage. For more information and in order to sign the petition follow the link:


UEL – an alternative plan for recovery 19/03/2014 1pm EBG06

UEL – an alternative plan for recovery

open meeting for all staff

Introduced by Prof Michael Rustin


Wednesday March 19, 1pm

Room EBG.06


Meet the new breed of fat cat: the university vice-chancellor

The Guardian reports on VC’s pay. See for details

Monday’s 10th February – Now a full day strike

Sally Hunt wrote to us earlier today about the next round of action regarding our pay dispute. She also pointed out that the minority Universities who have punitively decided to take a full day’s pay instead of the two hours have all had their strike extended to a full day. These minority institutions are: Aberdeen, Bradford, East London, West of Scotland, Greenwich, Staffordshire, the Leeds College of Art, Manchester Met, Nottingham Trent, Robert Gordon and Queen Mary UL.  (more…)

Pay Dispute Rally 2pm Thursday 6th Feb

UCU London Region is holding a rally at 2pm tomorrow at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL. There will be speakers from UNISON, Unite and UCU. Link for map below (more…)

Strike Action Thursday 6th February

At the end of this post is the text of a letter that we suggest that you distribute to your students so that they understand why we are taking industrial action on Thursday 6th February. We have now had sufficient pledges of support to be able to extend the picket at Docklands to cover the afternoon period in addition to the morning period. This strike is a joint action with UNISON and UNITE and is in support of the pay claim.  It is very important that we show our collective unity on the picket line, not only because of the pay issue, but also over the very real threat of compulsory redundancies at UEL . Please make sure that you come to the picket line. (more…)

Pay deductions at the University of East London

From Sally Hunt, UCU general secretary

Dear colleague,

I have today had sight of the message sent to academic staff at the University of East London regarding the dispute.

While its intention is clearly to intimidate, most members who have contacted me have been angry. What kind of an institution responds to a legal strike by locking staff out for the day, especially when they know that this will increase disruption for students?

I want to be quite clear with you about two things. 

Firstly, UCU’s legal advice is that a two hour strike should lead to the deduction of two hours pay – no more or less. Our clearly defined strike does not constitute partial performance as suggested by the message from the university and nor is it action short of a strike; it is in fact a complete withdrawal of labour for the duration of a legally convened strike.

However, the University of East London have decided to treat that two hour stoppage as partial performance. We believe that is a wholly unreasonable and disproportionate response which does more harm to the students than our lawful strike action intends.

It can never be a reasonable response by a university to add to the regrettable disruption that students experience as a result of a legitimate trade dispute. On the contrary, a reasonable response would be to seek to minimise the disruption.

If the University of East London goes through with its threat we will therefore immediately challenge their action through the courts. This process will, of course, be deeply embarrassing for the institution as will the publicity around their baffling willingness to increase disruption for students as a way of intimidating staff, but so be it.

Secondly, I want to say that the University of East London, should it deduct a whole day’s pay for a two hour strike, will face escalated industrial action from UCU. Where necessary we will use our strike fund to support members who participate in order to maximise the impact. We will also begin a national publicity campaign aimed at making sure that students and staff around the country know how the University of East London treats both its staff and those they teach.

I know from my postbag that members are angry with management. Please channel your anger into making our industrial action a success. Their hard line, aggressive action is designed to frighten us into not exercising the democratic right to strike. We cannot allow them to win. 

The union’s advice is therefore that you follow the instructions of the union on strike days and work normally except for the period of the two hour strikes.

You are further advised to respond using the text below.

The union stands behind you in our campaign for fair pay.

Thank you for your support.

Sally Hunt
UCU General Secretary


Suggested response

Dear x,

Thank you for your letter of x/x. As you will know, there is no legal requirement upon me to let you know whether I am a union member or whether I intend to participate in a strike. However, such is my strength of feeling about your recent letter of [date] informing me that you will deduct a whole day’s pay for a two hour stoppage of work, I feel compelled to put my position clearly to you.

If I completely withdraw my labour during the two hour strike called for Thursday, 23rd January between 11am and 1pm and subsequent two hour strikes called by the union, I will be performing my full range of duties on the days in question during all of the hours for which I am not called upon to be on strike. Further, the work that I will do during the hours I work on the days will be in full, and not partial performance of my duties.

My attendance at work in fulfillment of my duties on the strike days, as set out above, will clearly minimise disruption to my students. It stands in stark contrast to your policy which can only lead to increased disruption on the strike days called, which would be neither reasonable nor proportionate.

Finally, I am advised to tell you that should you nonetheless deduct a full days pay for any two hour strike that I may participate in, my union will seek to recover this money legally as well as escalate the dispute in this institution.

I hope that on reflection, you will reconsider your current policy which is unfair, confrontational and risks further damage to our students.



Pay Dispute Strike Thursday 23rd January 2014 11-1

UCU has called a number of two hour strikes over the pay dispute:

  • Thursday 23 January 11am-1pm
  • Tuesday 28 January 2pm-4pm
  • Monday 10 February, 9am-11am

The first of these 2 hour strikes is set for this Thursday and we have organised a UCU meeting for members at 11.30am. The meeting will be at Docklands and will start at 11.30am to allow members from Stratford to attend.

Advice for UCU on Frequently Asked Questions on the two hour strikes is given below (more…)


Did you know that if you have worked as an HPL at UEL for 4 semesters in a row (2 years) you have employment rights?! This includes proper notice that your employment will be ending and the right to be redeployed to another position
if suitable work is available. (more…)

Link for on-line petition in support of staff in Computer Science and Informatics

An e-Petition has been set up at:

Outcome of emergency joint union meeting

The emergency joint union meeting over the threatened redundancies in ACE was a well-attended meeting with approximately 100-120 people attending. The meeting passed the resolution below and began a petition to protest against the redundancies. Please sign the petition if you have not already done so. (more…)

Emergency Joint Union Meeting 1pm Wednesday 11th December EB.2.44

Your job is at risk. 

28 academic staff are at risk of being made compulsory redundant on the 27th January. This apparently has nothing to do with student numbers as the area in question would require two additional staff to cover its proposed semester B timetable. In which case either Management are either stupid – or they have thought of another way to get those classes taught. Is this the first step to outsource teaching? If so then this is set to happen across the university if it is successful here.

New Workload Model

The new workload model has been agreed and published by HR at
The model can also be downloaded directly from here Academic-Workload-Scheme. It takes effect immediately and replaces the previous scheme.   The Scheme will be subject to an initial review at a meeting of UCU representatives and senior managers in June 2014. If you need UCU advice on how to complete the form then please contact the branch secretary, Steve Martin, whose contact details are given on the Contact Us page of this website.

December 3rd Rally

A UCU rally will be held after picketing on the day of the strike, the details are:

  • Picket at your normal campus from 7-12
  • Assemble from 12.30 outside UCEA (HE employers’ association) offices, Woburn House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HQ for short demonstration and speeches
  •  March from Tavistock Square to main rally, passing Association of Colleges (FE employers’ association) offices on the way.
  •  Main rally at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8EP at 2pm


UCU branch secretary

Strike action Tuesday 3rd December 2013

    The strike action on 31st October succeeded in getting UCEA back to the table but disappointingly the employers threw away yet another chance to resolve the dispute, failing to make any improved offer, and leaving members to continue to face a 13% pay cut against inflation. It is important that members support the strike on December 3rd in order to keep pressure on the employers in the continued fight for a fair deal. UCU will continue to use all avenues and channels open to achieve a breakthrough in negotiations. Fuller details on the negotiations can be found at .

Please make sure that you come to the picket line.  It is very important that we show our collective unity on the picket line. Pickets will be arranged to cover both Stratford and Docklands campus between 7am – 2pm and will be arranged in three time slots 7-10; 9-12; 11-2. Please contact your UCU coordinator to let them know which picket duty slot you will be attending.

 Pickets on each site will be at:

  • Docklands:  Cyprus DLR, Car Park Barrier, Pedestrian Access by Sports Dock and if possible Pedestrian Access along Dockside.
  • Stratford:  Main Entrance, Cedars Road Car Park entrance (Main), Cedars Road Car Park (Mini), Ferns Road Car Park.

Coordinators are:


BRING YOUR LUNCH TO WORK DAY – Tuesday 19th November

Protest against the quality and cost of the food provided by Chartwell’s and their use of Zero-hours contracts.

Staff and students will gather together on the ground floor of the atrium at Docklands and the main foyer of the entrance on Stratford Campus in a protest.  Please bring a packed lunch and a blanket.  We will have a mass lunch together with concerned students between 12.30 and 1.30 in the first part of campaign to demand better quality food and for catering staff to be on proper contracts otherwise this will be the first of regular boycotts and protest.

Please join us and show your unhappiness with Chartwell’s.


London Living Wage Event today at 1pm EB.G.08

  • Since 2001, London Citizens’ collaboration with workers has won over £100million in extra wages, lifting over 12,000 families out of poverty.
  • UEL became the first post-92 University to sign up to the Living Wage in 2010
  • Come and celebrate the fact that UEL has become an accredited Living Wage Employer

PUBLIC MEETING : Zero Tolerance for Zero Hours

 Zero-hours Contracts have no place in Higher Education

Wednesday 13th November 2013 at 5.30pm at London Metropolitan University, room GCG08 Tower Building (opposite Holloway Road Tube Station)

Speakers: John McDonnell MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP. Liz Lawrence {Vice President UCU}, Katherine West {Leader Labour Group Islington Council}, John Fox {Branch Chair Bakers Union Hovis}, Jane Thompson {UCU HPL National Officer} plus UCU Member Edinburgh University

 Meeting sponsored by the London Met UCU, supported by London Met Unison and Students Union. Supported by London Region UCU

In some universities as many as half of all staff are on zero hours contracts. (more…)