Kingston UCU Members will have received an email from HR late on Monday 23rd May requesting they complete an online form regarding participation in the marking & assessment boycott.
Given the lack of clarity in the email, we are seeking urgent clarification from HR as to whether senior management are intending to impose 50% pay deductions, or 100% pay deductions with a “voluntary ex-gratia payment” equivalent to 50% of salary, as well as on the threat to withdraw any ex-gratia payment at any time.
A number of other aspects of what is both stated and not stated in the email need urgent clarification. We will update members as soon as we receive a response.
There are some misleading statements about UCU advice regarding notification of participation in action short of a strike (ASOS).
UCU guidance states: ‘If you are asked about whether you are participating in ASOS including the marking and assessment boycott, you should respond only in terms of what action you have taken/are currently taking, but not answer about future intentions regarding ASOS. This will mean that employers will need to keep checking for confirmation as to whether or not you have participated in ASOS and what forms of ASOS you have participated in and when. If you are asked directly whether you participated in ASOS in the past or are participating in it now (whatever the timeframe, be it last week, yesterday, or today) you should respond truthfully, but you should not declare your intentions regarding future action.’
You should answer a direct request for information about your current individual participation in ASOS truthfully. This does not require completing generic, blanket HR forms intended to undermine industrial action (which do not provide any information about the secure storage or retention schedule for the personal data collected, e.g. regarding trade union membership). You are under no obligation to notify your employer/manager in advance of starting action.
Financial support and solidarity available to members:
The UCU national Fighting Fund is available to all members subjected to 100% ASOS deductions as well for strike days.
We have also launched a local Kingston UCU hardship fund to supplement the national fund for those in particular need. Five other UCU branches, who didn’t pass the threshold to take action in the most recent ballot, are tabling motions to twin with us and provide direct financial support.
We remind members that our current ASOS covers the following:
- working to contract
- not covering for absent colleagues
- removing uploaded materials related to, and/or not sharing materials related to, lectures or classes that will be or have been cancelled as a result of strike action
- not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action
- not undertaking any voluntary activities; and
- a marking and assessment boycott.
For more news and updates join our discussion list: UCUKINGSTONDISCUSSION.
You can also join our regular support meetings, held daily on Zoom throughout the boycott period: Daily 10:00am on Zoom.
Kingston UCU branch committee