Thank you to members at ENU, UWS, Aberdeen and Strathclyde Universities and the Glasgow School of Art for a solid display of unity on our first two days of strike action. Picket lines have been strong, sending a clear message to employers and UCEA that we are no longer willing to tolerate the years of pay decline.
And our voices are being heard! On Tuesday, 25th February, Tom Keegan, the EIS-ULA President, addressed a UCU rally that had a strong ULA contingent at the Scottish Parliament. Tom, as part of a joint EIS ULA-UCU delegation with EIS Assistant Secretary David Belsey, then met with Richard Lochhead, (Minister for FE &HE) and they shared members' concerns.
The delegation highlighted the intransigence of the Management Side in this dispute and its refusal to attempt to resolve this dispute, and that this refusal to meaningful engage with the Trade Unions was breach of the underlying principles of the Scottish Fair Work Framework.
The Minister was urged to exert his influence on the Scottish Universities in a bid to encourage the Management Side back to meet and resolve this dispute.
Larry Flanagan, our General Secretary, has highlighted our action at the recent TUC General Council meeting and has had informal discussions with UCU General Secretary, Joe O'Grady as the strikes progress.
As we enter our third week of strike action, it is essential that we maintain our resolve and our unity. Where action is being taken, encourage members to support the picket lines, contact your local newspapers and politicians and get them involved!
Don't forget that strike pay is available as a means of financial support for those members who are employed to work and who take action on the days included in the programme of strike action. Strike Pay will be paid from the second day of action (ie 25th February 2020) at a rate of £50 for each working day on which strike action is taken.
In addition, the Hardship Fund is available for those members who are disproportionately affected by and take part in the strike action. The Hardship Payment will be paid to qualifying members up to a maximum of £50 for each working day on which strike action is taken.
Finally, thank you also to ULA branches, who despite being prevented from taking action by the Trade Union Act, have sent donations and messages of solidarity to our striking members. This level of support has been echoed by our sister trade unions across Scotland.
EIS ULA members in HEs not called out on strike, that are covered by New JNCHES, may also contribute towards a Solidarity Fund.
Your continued support is vital as we move forward in this dispute.
Save the Date – look out for further details about the EIS ULA Rally which will be held in Glasgow on Thursday, 12th March! Further details to come!
Remember – #DifferenceIsStriking!