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Email to staff 8 February 2022

Dear colleague

As you will know, the University and College Union (UCU) called on its members to take strike action on the following dates in relation to the USS and pay and conditions:

  • Week 1: Monday 14 to Friday 18 February 2022 (5 days)
  • Week 2: Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 February 2022 (2 days)
  • Week 3: Monday 28 February, Tuesday 1 March and Wednesday 2 March (3 days)

You will appreciate that we do not know which of our employees are members of UCU and therefore it is necessary to write to all staff in preparation for the industrial action. 

The action short of strike already notified remains in place. To remind colleagues this includes:

  • Only working contracted hours and duties and not volunteering to do more (from 1 December 2021).
  • Not rescheduling classes and lectures cancelled due to strike action (from 21 December 2021).
  • Not covering for absent colleagues (from 5 January 2022).
  • 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 (from 5 January 2022).

If you plan to take part in the industrial action 

While we are entitled to ask staff if they intend to participate in industrial action, we recognise that staff are not obliged to notify us until the action commences. We would therefore be grateful that you notify us as soon as possible and no later than your first day back at work after the period you participate in strike action by completing the online form. You will be asked whether you wish to continue to make pension contributions in respect of days when you are on strike. I would also advise you to refer to the information on pension contributions and pension benefits on the staff web pages in the event of participation in strike action. 

We need to make you aware of the consequences of taking part in industrial action. Following University policy, this means: 

Strike action: we will withhold a day's pay (1/365th of salary) for each day you participate in strike action. 

Action short of a strike: The University does not accept partial performance of duties, believing it to be a breach of the contract of employment. Where we view ASOS as constituting partial performance, we reserve the right to withhold pay. However, to date, our position has been not to enforce this right. We will continue to review the impact of ASOS and may, at a future point, change our position in terms of withholding pay. The exact response to any level of action, including the right to withhold pay and the amount of pay that may be withheld, will be considered when the specific detail and likely impact are known. If your actions do not constitute a breach of contract, then your pay will not be affected. 

Pay will be withheld for strike action over the February (for week 1) and March (for weeks 1 and 2) payrolls. In order to spread deductions this way, we will require all notifications of industrial action to be submitted no later than 5pm on Friday 18 February. If strike participation notifications are received after this date, all deductions will be made in the March payroll.

You can find more information and FAQs on the industrial action web pages but if you have any questions, please contact us at

With best wishes, 

Sophie Thompson

Interim Head of HR Operations


Human Resources, University of York 

Phone: 01904 32 4835 


Contact us

If you're a member of staff taking part in industrial action, please contact HR if you have any questions:

Use this email address for any other enquiries:

Contact us

If you're a member of staff taking part in industrial action, please contact HR if you have any questions:

Use this email address for any other enquiries: