Queen Mary local strike action: A message from UCU and the Students' Union

Update 31 March: Strike action that was due to take place from Monday 3 April has now been cancelled. Teaching will continue as normal.

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UPDATE 31 MARCH: Strike action that was due to take place from Monday 3 April to Friday 14 April has now been cancelled. Teaching and other activities will continue as normal. We will post further details and a joint statement with QMUCU on Monday

 

Original Statement released on 27 March

You may have heard that the Queen Mary branch of University and College Union (QMUCU) has announced an additional two weeks of strike action at Queen Mary from Monday 3 April until Friday 14 April. This email is a joint message from Queen Mary Students’ Union (QMSU) and QMUCU, intended to clarify why QMUCU has declared more strike action.

These strike dates have been announced in response to Queen Mary's strike pay deduction policy and are not taking place in other universities. According to this policy, staff who do not reschedule missed education will be deducted 100% of their wages indefinitely until classes have been rescheduled and made up for. This means that staff members who have taken part in strike action stand to lose their entire monthly pay for exercising their right to strike. Effectively, staff would thus have been working for free.

The rescheduling of classes, especially in light of the fast approaching exam period, would put undue pressure on students as well as staff. QMUCU recognises that attending classes while preparing for exams would place an unsustainable workload on students, especially those with work or caring commitments. Furthermore, staff need time to support students in their final assignments, which rescheduling missed classes does not allow for.

This month, several QMUCU members received emails confirming that pay deductions will take place unless missed classes will be rescheduled before the end of March. Faced with a choice between allowing these deductions to take place (thus putting any and all staff members in danger of further deductions) and striking to fight this policy, QMUCU members have decided to declare strike action.

As students at Queen Mary, you can use your voice to speak up against the deductions policy and help end the local strike. These strike dates have been called at Queen Mary only, solely due to the deductions policy. Speak to staff, speak to other students, but most importantly, contact university management to demand an end to the cuts policy to prevent further, preventable disruption at Queen Mary by using this email template

We encourage students to speak with striking staff, to ask about what is happening, and to visit their picket lines to show support. You can find out about what a strike is and more about why this is happening by reading this booklet made by students at Queen Mary; visiting QMUCU’s explainer on the upcoming local strike; reading the Students' Union's Strike FAQs; and contacting the QMUCU Student Liaison.

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