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Email to staff 17 November 2022

Dear colleague 

As you may know, the University and College Union (UCU) has notified the University that it is calling its members to take both strike action and action short of a strike following ballots on both the USS and pay and conditions. 

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. 

What action is the UCU calling for? 

The action is composed of strike action and action short of a strike. 

The strike dates notified to us by the UCU are Thursday 24, Friday 25 and Wednesday 30 November 2022. 

UCU has also called for continuous 'action short of a strike' from 23 November 2022 consisting of their members only working to contract; not undertaking any voluntary activities; 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; and not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action.  

How we will manage this action 

In Charlie’s email to staff on 9 November, he explained that he recognises that the decision to take part in industrial action is not taken lightly and that he would like us to respect each others’ views and actions. Charlie went on to say that our priority is to make sure we have the right support and procedures in place for staff and students, and that he will both remain in discussion with the UCU at York and continue to be fully engaged in national-level conversations about the dispute.

Last week, we held sessions for Heads of Departments to answer their questions, and we have drawn up contingency plans to help minimise impact on our students and their studies. During this period of industrial action we will continue to follow the University's established policy on managing industrial action.

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: if your actions do not constitute a breach of contract, then your pay will not be affected. However, the University does not accept partial performance, and we expect staff who are at work to prioritise essential work and comply with the obligation to work in an efficient manner. We will monitor the nature of action being taken and, if we consider that there is a failure to undertake reasonable duties, we reserve the right to withhold 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. 

Pay will be withheld for strike action in the January payroll and we will require all notifications of industrial action to be submitted no later than Friday 9 December 2022

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,

Helen Selvidge

Assistant Director of Human Resources

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: