LUCU Strike Bulletin – 10 February 2022
Call for pickets
We are asking you to come forwards to help the branch mount pickets across all gates of the University during the strike. Please contact Marc Gibson M.A.Gibson@lboro.ac.uk
The branch understands that deductions for the forthcoming strikes will again be staggered in March and April and is a token of the good relations that continue here between the branch and LU’s senior managers, for which we continue to be grateful.
Out of Office Message
Please find a suggested Out Of Office Message that you may adopt or use as the basis of your own message during strike action:
|I am taking part in the UCU industrial action to protect pensions, and to end gender, race and disability pay gaps, precarious employment contracts and excessive workloads. During the strike period beginning 14th February, I will not be answering emails. |
If you are a student and need to discuss a wellbeing issue, please contact: <insert details here>
If you would like further information about the reasons for the UCU industrial action, you can follow these links: here, or here.
Your closing address
Information for students
It is important to keep students as ‘on side’ as possible, and, while members are not obliged to declare strike action in advance, in keeping with the spirit of ‘good will’ shown by management in staggering deductions, we invite members to inform students and colleagues that you will not be teaching/keeping your appointments. Here is a suggested template that you may adapt for use with your students, either in an email or on your LEARN pages (you may wish to put in figures that reflect your own prospective losses):
|Dear <name> |
You may be aware that the University and College Union (UCU), which represents lecturers and professional services staff such as librarians and IT specialists, has called a strike beginning on Monday, 14 February and extending in its first phase until Tuesday 22 February (inclusive).
As a member of the union, I am writing to let you know that I will be observing this strike. This means that none of my teaching on those days will take place. I would like to take this opportunity to explain why I believe it necessary to take strike action, and would appreciate it if you can take a moment to consider my message.
The first and most important reason staff are striking is to resist drastic cuts proposed to their pensions. Depending on their age, lecturers stand to lose between 25% and 35% of their income in retirement. Personally, I face losing 27% of my pension, INSERT YOUR OWN FIGURE HERE IF YOU WISH and this level of financial loss would result in unsustainable damage to my living standards in retirement. These cuts are based on a flawed model of what the pension scheme is worth and how it is likely to perform in future. UCU has tabled alternative, workable proposals for the pension scheme that, at present, employers are refusing to engage with. Loughborough University’s management agrees with the union that the valuation of the pension scheme is problematic; however, this issue cannot be solved at a local level. Therefore, the union has called national strike action in order to exert pressure on university employers to negotiate in good faith and to find a fair solution.
The second reason for taking strike action is what UCU calls the ‘Four Fights’ (addressing major problems in the university sector of falling pay, excessive workload, inequality, and insecure employment contracts).
Taking strike action is a very difficult thing to do and something we consider only as a last resort. For one thing, our pay is deducted when we are on strike. But it is also difficult because we want to be doing our jobs, the most important and enjoyable part of which is giving students the best possible learning experience. I know that having your teaching cancelled will cause you disappointment and frustration, but I hope that you can understand my reasons for taking strike action, even if you may not agree with them.
If you would like to learn more about the industrial action, please take a look at this video which has been made by a Loughborough lecturer, and which has been shared with LSU for circulation to their members.