UCU members in FE and post-92 HE institutions will be out on strike on 10thMay, alongside PCS and UNITE (Health and Ministry of Defence) in support of the campaign to defend public sector pensions. This will be an important day in revitalising the pensions campaign.
Leaflet to download, print and distribute here.
There is a Q&A about the action which you can download here.
Hold a branch meeting this coming week to build support for the strike
Please consider inviting an NEC speaker to the meeting. Use the branch meeting to remind members of the reasons for the strike and the losses they have sustained in the April pay packet from increased pension contributions. Encourage members to compare their March and April pay slips to see how much their TPS contributions have increased.
Distribute literature and send out emails to members explaining about the strike
Please put out local messages explaining why we are coming out on strike. Remind members that the changes to TPS will mean that they pay more, get less and have to work longer.
Circulate material from the Campaigns Department at Head Office
Please contact the Campaigns Team at Head Office, as well as producing local placards. Please make good use of materials they send out.
Organise picket rotas, armbands and placards
Please encourage as many members as possible to take their turn in picketing. Please organise picketing of all major sites and entrances. It is important too, if possible, for pickets, with banners and placards, to be visible to passing traffic, to publicise the dispute.
Contact other unions locally who will be on strike on the day, i.e. PCS and UNITE to discuss a joint strike rally
Obviously the most important things to organise for a strike day are solid support from the members and effective picketing of the workplace. Next, however, it is important that we organise strike rallies and meetings to publicise the dispute. In Barnsley, UCU is having a meeting on 1st May with other unions in the town to plan a joint strike rally. Please invite members of other unions who are involved in the campaign to defend public sector pensions to the rally/meeting, including unions who are not on strike on 10th May. In Sheffield there is discussion of holding a rally around 5.00 p.m. so that school teachers can join the protest. Please remember to invite UCU colleagues in pre-92 HE branches to any rallies or meetings being organised.
Talk to members of other college/campus unions about the strike
Many members of UNISON, GMB and UNITE who work on university and college campuses will be concerned about what is happening to their pensions. They will have been hit in April by increased pension contributions, just like UCU members. While their union leaderships have not called on them to take strike action on 10th May, many will be sympathetic to our action and wish to support, e.g. by joining lunch-time or early evening rallies. If you have a Joint Union Committee in your workplace please talk to the other union representatives about the 10th May strike.
Talk to the Students Union about the strike
Please talk to students and Student Union officers in your college or university. Make sure they do not hear about the strike only from your employer. Explain that the pension changes will particularly harm younger workers and new entrants to public sector pension schemes. The campaign to defend pensions is a campaign for the rights of future generations as well as today’s public sector workers.
Make the action effective
Please remind members that on strike days, they should not do any college or university work at all. This means that as well as not going onto college or university premises, they should also not do college or university work at home nor access work email remotely on strike days. If members do not have easily identifiable teaching or meeting commitments on 10th May, encourage them to identify what work, such as routine administration, they are not going to do that day as a result of being out on strike. We are losing a day’s pay; the employers should lose a day’s work. It is also a good idea to encourage members to post ‘out of office’ messages on their email for 10th May, stating that they are out on strike to defend public sector pensions.
Solidarity from members in pre-92 Universities
Members in pre-92 Universities have been actively engaged in a campaign to defend the Universities’ Superannuation Scheme. While these members will not be out on strike on 10th May, since most of them are not in TPS, other forms of support would be welcome. This could include sending delegations to visit picket lines and to strike rallies and twinning with FE and post-92 branches who will be out on strike. Messages of solidarity would be welcome.”
Apart from building for M10, there are a number of branches in dispute at the moment so please encourage people to send messages of support.