Keele UCU will be taking part in Industrial Action from 1st December 2021. Industrial Action will take the form of:

  • Strike action on 1st December, 2nd December and 3rd December 2021
  • Strike action on 14th February – 18th February 2022
  • Strike action on 21st and 22nd February 2022
  • Strike action on 28th February – 2nd March 2022
  • Strike action on 28th March – 1st April 2022
  • Action short of a strike from 1st December until 3rd May 2022

Industrial Action has been called in relation to the Four Fights dispute, and the USS Pensions dispute.

What is the Four Fights dispute?

The Four Fights refers to pay, workload, casualisation and equality pay gaps.

We are calling on the employers to

  • address the scandal of the gender, ethnic, and disability pay gap
  • end contract casualisation and rising job insecurity
  • tackle the rising workloads driving our members to breaking point
  • increase to all spine points on the national pay scale of £2,500.

What is the USS Pensions dispute?

The USS Pension dispute has been ongoing since 2018, and refers to changes being made to the scheme which erode members benefits on retirement.

We are calling on UUK and the USS Trustees to

  • stop the cuts to USS and work with us to avoid future changes to benefits and increases in member contributions
  • call on USS to issue a new evidence-based valuation of the scheme.

How do I find out more about these disputes?

You can find latest updates and information on each dispute on the national UCU website by clicking here.

You can use the HE pay modeller to find out how much your pay has been cut over the last 12 years, and what your hourly pay rate is based on the hours you work each week above and beyond your contracted hours.

You can use the UUK pension change modeller to find out how much your pension will be impacted by UUK’s changes.

How do I join the picket line?

Keele UCU will be picketing campus between 8.30am and 10am each day during the period of industrial action.

  • Front gate picket: by the main entrance opposite the Medical School and Business School, on the same side of the road as the hotel.
  • Back gate picket: by the campus entrance off Three Mile Lane, opposite the bus stop.

You do not have to let us know you are coming in advance, though you should familiarise yourself with UCU’s guide to picket etiquette. Our pickets are a friendly place: children, pets, and friends are all welcome.

Do I have to declare that I will be taking part in industrial action before it starts?

No. You do not have to declare you are taking part in industrial action before it starts. You should complete the strike declaration form circulated by the University as soon as possible following your return to work on 6th December.

I am worried about the financial impact of taking strike action

Members who take strike action will receive pay deductions for the days they were out on strike. Keele University deducts 1/365th of your annual salary per day that you are on strike. Keele University has agreed to maintain pension contributions for members that take strike action.

UCU operates a National Fighting Fund which has been made available for this dispute.

  • Daily rates will be £75 for members in UCU subscription bands F3-6 (those earning under £30,000) and £50 for members in bands F0-F2 (those earning £30,000 and over)
  • All members participating in strike action will be able to claim for the second day of the strike action onwards

Keele UCU also operates a Local Fighting Fund which has been made available for this dispute for members who face particular hardship as a result of pay deductions due to industrial action. The Local Fighting Fund will prioritise members who are:

  • precariously employed and/or low paid (e.g. small fractional contract, hourly-paid contract)
  • disproportionally affected by the strike days (e.g. action is taken on the only day(s) they work, or it’s the day they work most)

If you would like to donate to the national fighting fund, you can do so here.

If you would like to donate to the local fighting fund, please see our page on Keele Local Hardship Fund

What does taking Action Short of a Strike (ASOS) mean?

For this dispute, taking Action Short of Strike (ASOS) means working to contract. This includes:

  • 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.

Until further notice, action short of a strike will last until Tuesday 3 May 2022.