Update on industrial action at Oxford Brookes by UCU trade union-statement from the Vice-Chancellor
A statement from Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor
Last month I issued a statement about planned industrial action by some Oxford Brookes staff, following a ballot by the University and College Union (UCU) which represents many academics, lecturers and other staff at universities across the UK. UCU has been locked in a long-running dispute with universities and their representative bodies over pay, pensions and working conditions for university staff.
Since then, UCU has informed the University that it intends to go ahead with strike action on the following five days:
- 21-22 February
- 28 February
- 1-2 March
Under the terms of its ballot, UCU may also take further strike action until the ballot ceases to be effective (13 July 2022).
From Monday 7 February, UCU members may also take ‘action short of a strike’; this will consist of members only working their contracted hours and duties and not volunteering to do more, not rescheduling classes and lectures cancelled due to strike action, 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. Under the terms of its ballot, UCU may take ‘action short of a strike’ until the ballot ceases to be effective (13 July).
As I outlined in my previous statement, I am hugely disappointed to see strike action go ahead at this time, when students across the country have already experienced a large amount of disruption due to the ongoing pandemic. However, the University respects the decision of those staff who have voted to strike, and we will continue to engage with UCU to understand members’ concerns.
We will be doing everything we can to minimise disruption to our students’ ongoing teaching, learning and assessment. As explained previously, the impact of strike action is likely to vary for different students, depending on Union membership of staff within different programmes; some students may notice little disruption, others may experience more. We are investigating a range of options to enable any lost learning to be recovered, wherever possible. We will provide further updates to all students later this month.
I would like to reassure all students that the University will be doing everything we can to minimise the impact of strike action on their studies.