Strike FAQs

Created on: 27 Nov 2013 | Last modified: 14 Nov 2014

Strike action involves removing your labour by refusing to work on the day in question.

All EIS members at Scottish Universities and Glasgow School of Art, excluding RSC, UHI and SRUC.

Yes, as long as your fully completed application form and direct debit mandate has been received by EIS HQ prior to the day of action you can take part in the strike action. You do not have to have been a member during the ballot.

Please note that application forms cannot be accepted by fax or email. Click here to join the EIS online now.

If your employer dismisses you for taking part in a legal strike (within 12 weeks of the start of the action), this would be unfair dismissal and the EIS would support you.

Strike action involves removing your labour by refusing to work on the day in question. If you withdraw your labour for a day then your employer has no obligation to pay you for that day. You will not be paid for the day you are out on strike. 

Staff paid on an hourly rate should expect to lose the payment for the hours they are contracted to work on the day in question. 

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

The Employment Rights Act provides that continuity of employment is not broken by strike action (s.216 (1) and (2)). In other words, any day on which an employee is on strike is not counted in the period of continuous employment but it does not break continuous employment.

Therefore, strike action does not break the period of continuous employment for acquiring statutory employment rights or contractual rights. Contractual rights which are unaffected by strike 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).

There is no right to strike in UK law. However, there is statutory protection for trade unions.

In common law an employee who takes part in strike 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).

By law, the EIS notifies employers that our members are taking strike action, the EIS provides the Employer with the number of members per workplace – without naming any member. This statutory notification provided by the EIS means that individuals are not required to do inform their employer themselves. You have no obligation to inform your employer or head teacher of your intention to take strike action.
We hope all members will support the democratic decision of the membership as a whole and demonstrate their professional commitment to colleagues by taking part in this strike action. It is up to all of us to take action to protect our pay.

Voting to support industrial action in any ballot does not legally bind an individual to take action. However, you should come out on strike to support the democratic decision of the membership as a whole and to demonstrate your professional commitment to colleagues who will also be taking part in the action.

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

It may be that employers will suspend the right of individuals to report absence, work from home or to self-certify on 3 December 2012. It is likely that a staff absent from work may have to provide medical evidence of illness on that day or face the risk of an employer withholding pay. 

As you are on leave you cannot at the same time be on strike and should not lose pay.

If it is not a working day for you then you cannot take strike action on that day.

No there is no requirement that a striking member must picket their workplace.

Most Branches will mount a picket when they carry out strike action and the EIS encourages members to participate in the picketing of workplaces’ entrances. Picketing is tightly defined in law and should take place at or near your place of work and is confined to seeking to persuade those party to the dispute (i.e. other EIS members) to take part in the strike. 

Being on industrial action for 1 day will mean that your total pensionable service would be 1 day less. It would not affect the pensionable salary on which benefits are calculated. On a pensionable salary of £35,000 your annual pension will be £1.20 less. There is no additional loss/impact for those who are nearing retirement.
It would be unusual for the SPPA to turn down a request for winding down on the basis of 1 day's missing service whether this be for industrial action or any other day of unpaid absence. Normally discretion would be used to allow the application to proceed. For more information on the Winding Down Scheme please go to our info/leaflet.

The entitlement to buy back one day's pension only applies to those in Local Government Pension Schemes. It does not apply to those in the Scottish Teachers' Superannuation Scheme. However, by working an additional day beyond your intended retirement date, you will be able to make good the day's pensionable service.

Keep visiting the EIS website for the most up-to-date information, or speak to your EIS Representative, Branch Secretary or contact FE & HE office at EIS HQ.