What are the guidelines on picketing?

The point of the picket is to peacefully persuade members not to cross our picket lines ie to not go into work. Picketing is a legal activity and pickets should wear an armband indicating they are on duty. Placards and posters should be displayed stating 'OFFICIAL PICKET'.

Approaching people

All UCU members should be on strike with the exception of members with clinical commitment. You should talk to anyone, a UCU member, work colleague, or member of the public who approaches the picket line. Give them a leaflet and explain the reason for the strike and ask them to support the campaign.

Anyone who decides to cross a picket line must be allowed to do so. But always take the opportunity to talk to them and explain the reasons for the industrial action. Those workers who wish to cross the picket line should be asked not to undertake any duties or responsibilities other than their own ie not to cover for us.

Speaking to non-UCU members

If a member of another union, or someone who's not a member of any union, wants to support us by staying away from work, you need to make it clear that if their employers decided to discipline them UCU wouldn't be able to support them. The individual must then make up their own mind. If they are eligible for UCU member- ship, their best course of action is to join there and then: they will then have the full protection afforded to any UCU member. Keep membership forms with you for this purpose.

If they do decide they have to go in to work, but would like to support us, then encourage them to come to the X rally - X date and time.

Speaking to students

Students are not vulnerable to discipli- nary action like staff, so any student who wishes to support us and not cross the picket line should be made welcome. Likewise, any student who wishes to stand near the picket lines should be made welcome, although they would not be legally recognised official pickets (so shouldn't, for example, be allowed to wear an armband).

We will have a leaflet available specifically for students explaining why we feel it is necessary to take this action.

Speaking to people who are not university staff or students

You can seek to persuade other workers, not employed at the university or college, not to deliver goods or to enter the work premises, eg post, milk, stationery supplies etc (this is the only form of permitted 'secondary' action).

Mobile numbers of the picket organisers should be available on the day.

Last updated: 23 July 2013