UNISON members at the University of Birmingham have voted to take strike action over 2018-2019 negotiations around fair pay, equality, and working conditions. The vote, based on a turnout of 51.3% of support staff members, resulted in over 78.6% voting in favour of strike action.
Further information about the dispute can be found at: uobunison.org.uk/dispute
Guidance for BUCU members
BUCU are currently seeking advice on how members can best support the strike. For the time being, we can share the following publicly available guidance on your rights:
- “Non-union members who take part in legal, official industrial action have the same rights as union members not to be dismissed as a result of taking action.” Source: gov.uk guidance
- “The law allows pickets to seek to explain their case to those entering or leaving the picketed premises, and/or to ask them not to enter or leave the premises where the dispute is taking place. This may be done by speaking to people, or it may involve the distribution of leaflets or the carrying of banners or placards putting the pickets’ case.” Source: CoP on picketing
- “Where picketing takes place, employees not directly involved in the industrial action may refuse to cross picket lines. Such employees can normally be regarded as being on strike and treated accordingly.” Source: LGA guidance
Any official pickets will be organised by UNISON. Any employees (whether UNISON/UCU members or not) not crossing picket lines would not be involved in “secondary action” as it is the same place of work. Any member of staff participating in a “properly organised ballot” (whether a UNISON/UCU member or not) will likely be in breach of contract but would be protected from dismissal / disciplinary action by trade union legislation.