Reporting participation in industrial action

Email sent to all staff from Rachael Brealey, Chief Operating Officer, on 14 June 2023.

Dear colleague,  

Two of our campus trade unions, the University and College Union (UCU) and Unison, have notified the University that they are calling on their members employed at the University to take industrial action.   

As we do not know which of our employees are trade union members, we need to write to all staff, to ensure that those who choose to participate in the industrial action know what we expect them to do in terms of declaring their participation and the impact that participating in strike action will have on their pay.  

The following information is only directly relevant for staff who are intending to take part in industrial action.
Strike action  

  • UCU has announced that a period of indefinite strike action will commence from 15 June onwards
  • Unison has announced two periods of discontinuous strike action on 15 to 18 June (inclusive) and 22 to 28 June (inclusive)

UCU Indefinite Strike Action

UCU’s indefinite strike action is separate from their campaign of Action Short of a Strike (ASOS) which is running concurrently. Information relevant to ASOS can be found on our industrial action In depth page

Please note that the University interprets ‘indefinite’ strike action to mean that a person will be on strike on a continuous basis and for an indefinite period. The salary will therefore be withheld from the date on which they commenced participation until such time as they notify their Head of School/Head of Service that they have returned to working normally and are fulfilling their contractual obligations in full.

If, at any time, they choose to participate in the UCU’s indefinite strike action, they are required to report participation using this Microsoft Form and to do this either immediately before starting strike action or at least no later than the day immediately after having commenced strike action.  

Salary will be withheld in response to indefinite strike action, at a rate of 1/365 of annual salary, on a continuous basis, from the start of participation until the date on which normal working is resumed and notified.  

If there are grounds to believe that a member of staff is taking part in the strike action called by UCU but they have not reported their participation, as instructed above, the University reserves the right to withhold pay on an indefinite basis until it is satisfied that the member of staff has not been taking part in the strike or that there are other reasons for absence from work or failure to carry out work. 

Unison Discontinuous Strike Action

If a person participates in Unison’s discontinuous strike action, they are required to report participation as soon as possible upon return to work following the strike date via Employee Self Service (ESS) in the normal way. This is in order that appropriate adjustments to their salary can be made.   

Colleagues who participate in Unison’s discontinuous strike action are reminded that the deadline for reporting participation in strike action over the periods 15 to 18 June and 22 to 28 June is Wednesday 5 July.   

If a person works part time or a shift pattern and decide to go on strike, they are asked to confirm the number of hours that they were scheduled to work on the strike participation day(s).   

Participation in strike action should be reported via Employee Self Service (ESS) or by visiting using the Windows Virtual Desktop.   

If you work in cleaning services and you do not have access to Employee Self Service, please notify your line manager of your participation in strike action and they will report this for you.   

One day’s pay will be deducted for each day of participation in strike action. The calculation of one day’s pay will be 1/365th of annual salary for full time employees, and the actual hours contracted for that day for employees who work part time hours or shift patterns.  

Deductions will be processed no earlier than the July pay cycle. 
Information relevant to both sets of strike action

For any member of staff taking strike action of any kind (i.e. whether indefinite or discontinuous) the deduction of salary may have additional consequences. For example, during participation in industrial action, employee and employer pension contributions will not be made and pensionable service will not accrue.

For clarity, the withholding of pay is without prejudice to any other right or remedy on the part of the University, including any claim for damages for breach of contract. 

More information about why the industrial action is taking place and what is taking place nationally and locally to resolve it can be found on For Staff. If you have further queries, please speak with your manager or head of school or service in the first instance.   

Yours sincerely,   

Rachel Brealey 
Chief Operating Officer

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