Response to email from Emily Boynton
29th November staff received an email from Emily Boynton, the current HR Director, on the topic of our upcoming actions (strike and ASOS).
The first thing to note is that you are under no obligation to complete the online form to let the university know that you are intending to take industrial action. The detail on pension contributions in the email is irrelevant and misleading. This is discussed explicitly in the UCU dispute FAQs:
Do I have to tell my employer that I am taking industrial action?
No. It is often the case that management will send out emails/letters demanding that you declare in advance whether you will be taking industrial action. This can have the effect of misleading and intimidating members, and will enable your employer to minimise any disruption. You are under no obligation to inform management in advance as to whether you will be taking part in strike action or action short of a strike. UCU will provide your employer with all the information about the action required by law including those categories of members who we are calling on to take action. Once you are back to work following the strike action, you should respond truthfully to any query from your employer as to whether you have taken or are taking industrial action. You should not, however, respond to any such query while you are on strike.
The online form circulated by Boynton also requests that we let the university know whether we will be participating in ASOS by working our contracted hours. The university should expect that all staff – UCU members and non-members – are working their contracted hours, except in exceptional circumstances. Consequently, we should not declare our intentions to participate in ASOS either as it can be seen as a reasonable and legally-justified means of ensuring our wellbeing and work-life balance.
Petition for all strike deductions from salaries to be donated to student hardship fund
We will request that all strike deductions from salaries will be donated to the student hardship fund at Kingston University. LSE has already responded favourably to a response from its own local UCU branch. Therefore we are optimistic that our management will take a similar approach.
Haven’t booked your picket slot yet?
We are expecting all members to sign up to at least one three hour slot. Check inboxes for the link to the signup.If you can’t join us physically, please join us on the digital picket line this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, from 10-11am at this link.
On strike days, we will have rallying points at the front of Penrhyn Road and the front of Knight’s Park at 10am and 1230pm so please do join us at either of those locations at those times.
Action short of strike (working to contract) begins on December 1st. UCU central are putting on a series of briefings about ASOS and what it means in practice this week. Please see email from Jo Grady (29th November) for the sign-up links. The branch will circulate further guidance on ASOS in the coming days.