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Questions and Answers about the
industrial action scheduled
for 5 July 2016

1 A lot of the trade union literature and the ballot talks about legal industrial action. Does this mean if I do take industrial action and because it is described as legal, I will still be paid?

No, if you take part in any form of industrial action you will not be paid for the period you participate. Taking lawful industrial action involves going through the ballot process. When industrial action is called following a lawful ballot process, then anyone participating in that action will not be paid for the period they choose to participate.

The impact of the action and not being paid will have varying impact on individuals depending upon individual circumstances. Indefinite action will have a more detrimental effect on individuals. As a guide, using the mid-point of each grade the gross value of a day’s pay is as follows:

   
Grade 7£118.22
Grade 8£141.05
Grade 9£168.30
Grade 10£200.84
Grade 11£225.97
2 If I participate in the strike and I don't get paid, will this affect my pension?

Yes, it will. Should you take part in the strike and you are subsequently not paid for the duration of your participation in that action, then for every day of action you participate in you will lose a day’s pensionable service. This means not only will your contribution for that day not be paid, but the employer’s contribution will also be withheld. The overall implications of the loss of service would have to be calculated on an individual basis and would have varying degrees of impact based on an individual’s age and length of service.

3 What happens if I voted no in the ballot and the overall result is in favour of industrial action?

Whether you have voted yes or no in the ballot, it is entirely your choice as to whether you want to participate in industrial action. Taking action may damage the excellent service we provide to our students at a time when they should be able to rely on that service. It may also damage the reputation of the University, adversely affecting how potential students and their parents view us. If you decide not to participate in the strike action, the University will do all that it can to assist you in exercising your right to attend your workplace.

4 How long could the strike action last?

The industrial action has been notified as commencing on 5 July 2016. As an individual who was called upon to vote in theballot, you have the legal right to choose to take part in the action or nottake part in the action. You also havethe right to stop taking part in the action (should you initially decide toparticipate in the action) and return to normal working at any time.

5 I voted to take action but now I have changed my mind, does that mean I still have to take action?

No. You still have the right to decide whether to participate in the action or not. Voting for action does not mean you have to take action.

6 I am on maternity/paternity/annual/sick leave after 4 July 2016. Will my pay be withheld?

No, providing you have confirmed to HR and payroll through the normal channels that this is the case.

7 My manager wants to know if I intend to participate in the strike action, do I have to respond?

Managers may ask an individual’s intention prior to 5 July 2016 but you are not obliged to tell them. After the event, you are obliged to answer questions about your participation in any industrial action.

8 I am not participating in the strike action and I have been asked to undertake some marking that would normally be completed by someone else who is taking strike action.

The University wishes to minimise the impact of the strike action on students and ensure that they receive the marks for their course at the appropriate time. Consequently, we may be asking staff who have indicated that they are not participating in any strike action to perform some marking where it is within their sphere of expertise. Where there are workload issues, this will be taken into account and duties will be re-prioritised.

9 What does working to contract mean?

We expect staff to continue to abide by their contracts of employment during the period of industrial action short of a strike. This will include the terms outlined above as well as terms that may have been implied through custom and practice and the duties of co-operation and faithful service that are implied in all contracts. You are also expected to perform your duties in an efficient manner, without seeking to disrupt the institution. Our expectation is that members of staff will, therefore, continue to work normally and efficiently. Where there are any queries about the prioritisation of work, members of staff should seek direction from their line manager.

10 I have been told that death in service benefits will not be payable if I am on strike and something happens to me that day

If you are a member of the Teacher’s Pension, death in service benefits will still be paid. If you are a member of USS, they will not. Further details can be found on the respective pension websites.