University of Birmingham's Aston Webb Great Hall

Punitive pay deductions (50%) in response to ASOS

Motion adopted by BUCU branch meeting 21 February punitive deductions and national strike action

Notes: The motion for HEC summarises the contents of a letter sent by the affected branches (incl. BUCU) to UCU General Secretary Jo Grady and the national HE officers.

BUCU notes:

  1. That a number of UCU branches are facing a coordinated counterattack by employers which involves local policies imposing deductions of up to 100 percent of salary for refusing to reschedule teaching cancelled as a result of strike action or share course materials related to that teaching. Branches so far affected include QMUL, University of Birmingham, City, Bristol, Manchester Met Uni, Newcastle, UAL, Kingston, Bradford and others.
  2. That several of those branches have written to the General Secretary, President, Vice President and Vice Chairs of HEC to ask for a strong UCU response, including escalation of national disputes, legal action, and resources for affected branches.

BUCU believes:

  1. That branches facing punitive deductions should not be left to fight employers’ attacks on their own.
  2. That calling escalating national strike action in the current disputes is the quickest and most effective way to show that the whole union is behind them.
  3. That branches must be able to take democratic decisions about the future of the disputes at a national level through Branch Delegate Meetings which take votes on key issues, such as this one.

BUCU resolves:

  1. To send the motion below to the Higher Education Committee meeting on Friday 25 February in solidarity with the call from branches facing punitive deductions for national strike action
  2. To send a message of solidarity to branches affected by this tactic and inform our members of practical actions they can take in solidarity (such as resigning as external examiners, donating to local hardship funds or supporting social media campaigns to ‘name and shame’ bullying managements).
  3. To call on the GS to call a Branch Delegates Meeting before HEC to give branches a forum to express their views and vote on strategies for the national disputes.

HEC motion solidarity with branches facing punitive ASOS deductions

Motion is 148 words (cannot go above 150) 

HEC resolves to:

  • Call a programme of hard-hitting escalating national action in either or both HE disputes. 
    • This could be 4 days in one week and then 5 the next week.
    • Coordinate with branches regarding strike dates
    • Permit branches to apply for additional strike dates
  • Require a commitment to withdrawing the threat of punitive deductions as part of any suspension of action or any settlement of the two disputes.
  • Take all viable legal avenues of redress against the deductions, including seeking an urgent injunction.
  • Confirm that members and branches facing punitive deductions will have extended access to the national strike fund or other national financial resources in addition to local solidarity funds, beyond the additional 5 days already announced.
  • Launch an appeal for solidarity, including donations, across the trade union movement
  • Work with affected branches to initiate greylisting of employers continuing to threaten members with punitive deductions. 

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