FAQs

1. What is involved in taking action short of strike action?

2. How long will this action last?

3. Who is eligible to take industrial action?

4. Can I join the EIS today and still take part in the industrial action?

5. Can my employer sack me for taking action short of strike action?

6. What is the effect on pay of taking action short of strike action?

7. Does action short of strike action count as a break in my employment?

8. What is the legal position?

9. Do I have to inform my employer that I am going to take part in industrial action?

10. Are any members exempt from taking part in the action short of strike action?

11. If I am on annual/maternity/paternity/family leave what do I have to do?

12. How do I find out more information?

 

Q1. What is involved in taking action short of strike action?

Action short of strike action is a form of industrial action; in this dispute it involves the following three actions delivered in an escalatory manner: 1. ‘working to rule’, involving members doing no more than the minimum required by their contract; 2. a resulting boycott, involving members refusing to enter students’ marks/results into college systems; 3. not covering for absent colleagues, including not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to colleagues’ absence.  If there is a mandate for taking action short of strike action from the statutory ballot then we will notify you when to implement the first action, before moving on and adding the second and third actions in due course.

 

Q2. How long will this action last?

It is anticipated action of this nature will commence from around 12th April 2021, in a continuous and escalatory manner, until 24th September 2021 or earlier if a resolution is found.

 

Q3. Who is eligible to take industrial action?

All EIS members employed by West Lothian College are part of this dispute and thus covered by the industrial action.

 

Q4. Can I join the EIS today and still take part in the industrial action?

Yes, as long as you are eligible for membership and as long as your fully completed application form and direct debit mandate has been received by EIS HQ prior to you beginning to take action.  Click here to join the EIS online now.

 

Q5. Can my employer sack me for taking action short of strike action?

If your employer dismisses you for taking part in industrial action which complies with legislation (within 12 weeks of the start of the action), this would be unfair dismissal and the EIS would support you.

 

Q6. What is the effect on pay of taking action short of strike action?

Action short of strike action is a form of industrial action and can constitute a breach of contract which could lead to on-going salary deductions.  If the College does make pay deductions, then the well-established trade union response to such an aggressive employer is to move to a ballot for strike action.

 

Q7. Does action short of strike action count as a break in my employment?

No, it does not break the service of any employee, including employees on temporary contracts.

The Employment Rights Act 1999 provides that continuity of employment is not broken by industrial action (s.216 (1) and (2)).  Contractual rights which are unaffected by industrial action are salary placement rules, qualifying periods for maternity and adoptive leave, sick pay entitlement, and service to acquire permanence and service for compulsory transfer purposes (as agreed locally).

 

Q8. What is the legal position?

There is no right to take industrial action in UK law.  However, there is statutory protection for trade union members who take industrial action.

In common law an employee who takes part in industrial action will almost always be in breach of her or his contract of employment.  However, protection for individuals who take part in official strike action is set out in the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidations) Act. Under (TULRC)A, s.238(A)2, any employee dismissed for taking industrial action shall be regarded as being unfairly dismissed if the strike action is protected (i.e. lawful).

 

Q9. Do I have to inform my employer that I am going to take part in industrial action?

No.  The EIS notifies employers that our members are taking action; individuals are not required to do so.  The EIS does not share a membership list nor a list of names, simply the number of staff.  You have no obligation to inform your employer of your intention to take part in the industrial action – even if you are asked.

 

Q10. Are any members exempt from taking part in the action short of strike action?

Exemptions are normally only granted in exceptional circumstances, for example in the case of a pregnant lecturer whose maternity rights might be negatively affected by taking strike action.

 

Q11. If I am on annual/maternity/paternity/family leave what do I have to do?

As you are on leave you cannot at the same time be taking part in the industrial action.

 

Q12. How do I find out more information?

Keep visiting the EIS website for the most up to date information, or speak to one of your EIS-FELA Branch Officials.





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