Over 100 members and supporters gave up their lunch break on Tuesday (12 November) to help shape Birmingham UCU’s plans for eight days of strike action over pensions, pay, excessive workloads, endemic casualisation and stark inequality.
Birmingham UCU committee started off the meeting by providing a brief overview of the events which led to UCU members in Birmingham and across the country voting for strike action after years of management inaction. They then outlined plans to take eight days of strike action between Monday 25 November and Wednesday 4 December unless the University of Birmingham and other employers nationally act to address UCU’s demands.
Members asked questions and suggested ideas for maximising the effectiveness of the strike action. Members also signed up to get more involved in developing the branch’s strike plans, with volunteering opportunities covering everything from communicating with students through to supervising picket lines and organising ‘teach out’ sessions on strike days.
In addition to planning the strike days, members also discussed the importance of ‘Action Short of Strike Action’ in to winning the dispute, with members voting to approve a motion which calls on all members not to upload Panopto recordings during the dispute period (note: this was clarified in the discussion to refer to all Panopto recordings covering sessions during the dispute period, initially, including removing any old recordings from previous years that could be used to break the strike. Full ASOS motion available here, more detailed guidance to follow). Members also voted unanimously to create a Local Hardship Fund, in addition to UCU’s national strike fund support, to provide financial support to Birmingham UCU members in need (note: this is a limited local fund aimed at those attending pickets to help cover for ‘their’ first two days of action that would not be covered by the national fund. Full hardship fund motion available here).
Support the UCU strike
Birmingham UCU members are encouraged to get involved in developing the branch’s strike plans. No matter how little spare time you have, there’s something you can do to help. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more and follow us on social media.
UoB students support staff strikes: https://www.facebook.com/groups/565505877532818/