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Important update on strike action

15 September 2023

In recent weeks there has been a clear and growing call for the union to develop and deliver an innovative, wide ranging and dynamic strategy that will ultimately win us the dispute and change our sector for the better. This focus on long-term strategy is what I have been working towards.

On the back of membership feedback, a majority of the higher education committee (HEC) called for a meeting to be held to consider options around the forthcoming five days of strike action. That meeting was held today [Friday 15 September 2023]. 

The HEC commended the sacrifices that members have made to get us to this point, and also the need for the union to develop a clear national strategy. On this basis, the HEC agreed to give individual branches the option of calling off the forthcoming five days of action. It is expected that all branches will immediately engage members on this issue, and HEC has agreed that branches can request an exemption from strike action, via a request to the HE officers. 

Discussions have already been had with branches that are due to commence strike action next week, and I know you will join me in sending solidarity to members at Aberdeen, Glasgow, Stirling, and Strathclyde as they commence their action on Monday, and Dundee where members will walk out from Wednesday. 

On Tuesday [19 September 2023] at 18:30 we will host a ballot-eve live event with a difference. Not only will we rally members and discuss the need for a massive YES vote - we will also commence the discussion on developing a strategy to win the dispute. High profile figures from across the movement will join us to discuss how we campaign industrially, how we build the union, how we enhance our political work, and how we gain more media coverage. I want members to see this as the beginning of the next phase in our dispute. You can set a reminder on YouTube, and watch live on Twitter and Facebook.

Join us on Tuesday. Vote YES from Wednesday. Stick together everyday. 

In solidarity

Jo Grady
UCU general secretary

Last updated: 27 September 2023