At our General Members Meeting on 10 December 2019, members voted to approve an emergy motion on Action Short of Strike. The motion was adopted as a resolution. The final text is presented below.
This branch notes the confused way in which Action Short of Strike (ASOS) is being handled at the University of Birmingham.
Staff are repeatedly being asked to consider whether the strike action has had an impact on learning objectives for their taught modules.
This has all the appearance of a “trick question”: Those staff who say that there has been no impact on learning objectives place themselves at risk of bearing the entire responsibility, in place of the University of Birmingham, for any later claims by students that they have not had delivered all learning objectives; Those staff who say that there has been an impact are likely to find themselves asked to deliver teaching which they have already had pay deducted for, or otherwise face being penalised a second time, now with a 25% pay deduction for ‘partial performance’.
None of this is either fair or transparent. It represents a direct attempt to undermine the effect of strike action, which striking UCU members have already lost 100% of their pay as a result of.
The University of Birmingham branch of UCU calls for the University management to agree to a negotiated handling of the consequences of strike action, in consultation with the Guild of Students, and to remove absolutely the threat of 25% pay deductions for failure to re-do, or ‘re-capture’, teaching that was affected by the strike action.
Failure on the part of the University of Birmingham to agree to such a course of action, should prompt the branch to visibly campaign against this punitive approach, up to and including through actions that might include a new ballot for industrial action specifically on this issue of the handling of ASOS.