Bristol UCU Strike, 25th and 26th May

Bristol UCU Strike Newsflash

1) Industrial Action – Tomorrow & 26th May

We hope to see as many of you as possible at our picket lines tomorrow starting from 8.30 am – please come to Senate House in the first instance (unless you’ve agreed otherwise with your local rep). All pickets should then assemble at 10 am outside Senate House for a March to the Wills Memorial Building.

Speakers include Harriet Bradley (UCU National Executive Committee), Laura Ho (Bristol Students Union) and Jez Longden (National Union of Teachers)

On the 26th, please let us know what you doing instead of working. A picture would be great! Either tweet #fairpayinhe or email your picture or comments to

Remember to set up an out-of-office message for tomorrow and Thursday:

Please note I am on strike today as part of the UCU industrial action in support of fair pay in higher education. You can find out more about the dispute here:

2) Student Support

Bristol Student Union Officers have written a statement of solidarity:

UCU has also produced material for students:

3) Working to Contract & External Examining

We have quite a few questions regarding working to contract, what that means for open days, external examiner resignation and signing out marking.

Working to contract means a 35 hour week for full-time staff.

As far as this affects Saturday working (and in particular the up-coming Saturday Open Day), HR have confirmed that they consider it a reasonable request to be asked to work on Saturday as long as you negotiate time off in lieu so that you keep to your 35 hours.

External examiners should resign their position subject to any notice period. They should not to accept or otherwise agree the offer of new external examiner posts until the dispute has been resolved.

Signing out and returning of marking: after much toing and froing, it is now branch officers and reps understanding that normal arrangements will stand and staff will not be asked formally to confirm that they will return work by the already notified deadline. If you feel you are being up under undue pressure to complete your marking please contact for support.

Don’t forget to set up an out-of-office message. For example:

Please note I am ‘working to contract’ as part of the UCU industrial action in support of fair pay in higher education. This may mean it takes longer for me to respond to emails. You can find out more about the dispute here:
Please also consult our strike FAQs:

4) Local Strike Day

As part of the campaign, we’ve been asked as branch to select an appropriate date to take to local industrial action. This action would correspond with exams boards, open days or graduation for maximum impact.

At Bristol UCU Exec today, we decided to ballot the branch members. This was done for several reasons:

  • to determine which events we would like to boycott
  • to let members know this is a decision that is being actively considered
  • to gauge the appetite for taking local action.

The ballot will be launched this Friday and emailed to all members.

See you tomorrow


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