UCU Strike 2021-22

Kingston Staff Have Had Enough

Alongside UCU branches at universities across the country, Kingston UCU members went on strike from 1st to 3rd December. Following those strike days we are taking ongoing action short of a strike.

Kingston staff are striking over ‘Four Fights’: unsafe workloads, shrinking pay, rising job insecurity, and pay inequality seen in ethnicity, disability and gender pay gaps.

These issues are not just damaging our mental and physical health, they are impacting our ability to do the best teaching, research and professional work we can. Students deserve better than exhausted undervalued staff burnt out by insecurity, inequality and overwork. We are at breaking point. These conditions are unsustainable and the future of higher education is at stake.

KU staff who are not UCU members are welcome to join and take part in this action.

Find out more about what the dispute is about here.

We’ve also made a strike explainer for students here.

Strike action took place on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd December 2021.

On those days Kingston UCU members withdrew their labour. They were not teaching, doing research, responding to emails, going to meetings, attending conferences or events, marking, preparing classes, holding academic support hours or fulfilling administrative tasks, whether on campus or online.

UCU members who participated in this strike action are able to claim strike pay from the UCU Fighting Fund – see details and claim here: Fighting Fund.

Thank you to members, colleagues and students for their support

On these strike days there were lively picket lines at the entrances of Kingston buildings, as well as a digital picket. Many students did not to cross the picket line in solidarity with our strike and stood with us in support instead.

You can follow what happened on twitter and instagram. Read our strike flyer, and find strike graphics & posters to download and share.

Following these strike days, Kingston UCU members are undertaking ongoing action short of a strike (ASOS).

This starts with working to contract.

UCU members will only carry out duties specified in their role description during the hours stipulated per working week in their contract.

Any ‘reasonable’ requests from line managers to do additional work over and aboveĀ  normal weekly hours, must be put in writing and quantified.

Guidance on how to work to contract, including spreadsheets for calculating hours and template letters to use in communications with line managers are available on the UCU website – Reclaim our time: ASOS campaign.

We will share ideas as a branch about how we can support each other collectively with ASOS. Find here further information and resources about excessive workload and unpaid overwork.

Unless the employers come back to negotiations with a meaningful offer and credible actions to resolve this dispute, this will escalate to further action short of a strike.

There is further FAQ guidance available on the UCU website about taking strike action. There is also a separate briefing for migrant members.