Created on: 28 Oct 2013 | Last modified: 05 Feb 2018
Strike action or other industrial action by trade unions representing other educational personnel will, usually, involve the statutory notice periods required under the relevant trade union legislation which should provide adequate time for pre-planning and for information to be provided to students staff and the public. Decisions regarding whether a HEI should remain open to pupils, students and/or other staff will depend largely on the likely effects of the industrial action and attendant health and safety risks which may be envisaged. Any decision, however, will be based on an analysis of the situation involving consultation between the EIS and the Employer.
Where the EIS membership considers that health and safety would be compromised by the opening of a University or HEI, then EIS-ULA Branch Secretary should report the situation to the National Officer (F&HE)
In common with other trades unions, the EIS advice in the event of another Trade Union taking industrial action is governed by the law. In situations where EIS members have not been advised to take part in the industrial action, members should report for work as normal.
This includes situations where a picket line has been organised at the place of work. It should be remembered that the principal function of a picket line is to peacefully persuade members of the trades unions who are involved in the industrial action not to enter the workplace. It is important that members are aware of the possible consequences of taking part in unofficial industrial action and these are outlined below:
(a) It is possible that members who do not report for work on such occasions will be the subject of disciplinary action. In these circumstances it must be remembered that failure to attend for work may be regarded as unofficial industrial action and the Institute may be required to repudiate, formally, the action taken.
(b) Members, almost certainly, will lose a day’s pay and, again, the Institute will take no action to attempt to recover the salary which has been docked.
(c) In the unlikely event of any member being dismissed as a consequence of breaking their contract of employment by taking unofficial industrial action, there is no recourse to Employment Tribunal.
(d) It is the EIS view that it is totally unacceptable for lecturers and other University staff to be asked to cover the work of colleagues who have not reported for work (in the context of industrial action). However, members should be aware that any refusal to cover for lecturers who have not reported for work could be deemed, in the circumstances, to be unofficial industrial action. Any difficulties should be reported to the National Officer.
However, during the course of the working day no member should engage in any duty which is normally carried out by staff who are on official strike or engaged in other offical industrial action.
Finally, while the EIS is under certain constraints as a consequence of the industrial relations legislation, members will be provided with EIS representation should this prove to be necessary.