UCU marches with Cardiff Climate Strikers

Cardiff UCU was very proud to rally and march with strikers organized through UK Student Climate Network.  Friday’s demonstrations were part of November’s Global Climate Strikes, an action supported by the UCU nationally.

Inspiring leadership on Climate Justice from young people

Messages of mutual solidarity were exchanged at the rally, after which youth strikers led the march into City Centre on Black Friday. Once there striking members joined youth strikers in a ‘die in’ in front of Cardiff Central Library.

What’s next?: Action-Short-of-a-Strike (ASOS)

Last Monday we all began Action Short of a Strike (ASOS), non-strike industrial action. ASOS means working-to-contract and not doing voluntary work.

This includes not covering for absent colleagues and, of course, not rescheduling classes or lectures cancelled due to the strikes. It may also include assessment boycotts.

ASOS maximises the impact of strike action, and highlights employer dependence on ‘goodwill.’

Management may direct you to prioritize tasks. For example, if marking is a priority, then you can estimate marking time.

You can then communicate the time needed to your manager, noting which other work you will not be able to do within your contracted hours.

Where’s Colin? A response to VC Riordan

Last week, the Cardiff UCU Strike Committee established contact with our Vice-Chancellor, Colin Riordan. He was invited to a public meeting to take questions from staff and students.

Cardiff UCU feel he has a responsibility to listen to staff and student concerns and explain his positions to them. Prof Riordan has been conspicuously absent since the strike began.

No sighting per se, but a communiqué has been received

Sadly, on Friday Prof Riordan, declined the invitation to attend the event.  The VC says he’s doing “everything in his power” to resolve the dispute.

Cardiff UCU has now called off the planned Q&A with Colin. The strike committee seriously discussed “empty chairing” the boss and recording the session using “strike capture” technology so he could catch up later.

Now we’ve decided to give him one more chance to speak to us during the second wave of strike action, likely to be announced in the New Year.

What could Colin do?

Cardiff UCU have listed for the Vice-Chancellor four things he could do immediately to push for a national dispute resolution and begin to address local concerns.

There are four things the VC could do immediately to help end the national industrial action, and begin to address staff concerns about conditions at Cardiff University:

  1. Publicly call for UCEA to negotiate on pay.
  2. Publicly call on the USS to accept the recommendations of the JEP and for UUK to work closely with UCU toward its implementation.
  3. Commit publicly to meaningfully addressing pay inequality, casualization, and workload problems at Cardiff University.
  4. Agree to stagger strike pay deductions for staff over an eight-month period to begin to rebuild goodwill.

Cardiff Students Supporting UCU Strike Action have also published an open letter to the VC, suggesting positive action.

Picketing Excellence Framework (PEF) 2019

As we reach the end of the first week of #UCUStrikesBack here’s a look back at some of the brilliance and inventiveness you’ve demonstrated on the pickets this week. We’ve seen innumerable four star placards, far too many to include in this post, but here’s an assortment that gives a flavour of the creativity and erudition that’s been on display so far… Continue reading