How To and Not To Report Strike Action To Your Employer

(updated December 2019)

We’ve been receiving reports that some line managers are emailing members on behalf of HR asking that they complete a self-declaration form  or use Success Factor. We want to make clear that you should not use the University of Warwick self-declaration form.

Having withdrawn your labour for 8 days in Weeks 9 and 10, you are legally required to state this truthfully if asked by your employer. Hourly paid tutors and contract workers will have a different procedure for reporting their participation in industrial action, which we outline at the bottom of this post.

Because university management has refused UCU requests to smooth deductions over more than one pay period, as many other universities have done, we suggest that you do the following:

– Declare only one day at a time. There is no legally defined time limit to declare participation in industrial action. Stagger any declarations over as long a period as you like (e.g., once a week for the days you went on strike, hence taking 8 weeks to declare).

– Use as many different communication channels as possible. There is no legally required means to declare. Send your notices to a variety of legitimate representatives of university management: your line manager, the Head of Human Resources, the VC, etc.

– Communicate in ways that are difficult for the university to administer. Some suggestions include:

  • Send an email without text, but containing information in an image form (you can hand-write and take a photo with your phone, then attach the file)
  • Consider password protecting the file as a security measure; do not send the password unless you are asked
  • Leave the subject line of your message blank, or label the communication without revealing its contents
  • Send handwritten communications via internal mail.

For each day you report, make sure to ask that your lost wages be donated to the student hardship fund, and state that you would like to continue with your USS contributions for those days.  

If you are an STP tutor, however, please declare in advance as your contract requires you to do so (as explained in the Warwick UCU FAQs for casualised staff).

The advice from the branch for STP tutors is: 1) declare that you are striking in advance, but as late as possible (e.g. only on the morning of the day that you are due to teach, or the evening before) by emailing stp@warwick.ac.uk, putting in blind copy administrator@warwickucu.org.uk; 2) do not fill in the HR self-reporting form even if you are asked to by the STP team; 3) do not declare ASOS as it does not apply to hourly paid staff.

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to let us know!

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