Ballots on industrial action have been held by the University and College Union (UCU) in relation to pay and the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension.

Following these, UCU secured a mandate for strike action at 60 universities across the UK. This is a national dispute.

Staff communications

24 February 2020

Joint statement from the University of Aberdeen & UCU

The University of Aberdeen and the Aberdeen branch of the University and College Union (UCU) are currently in dispute over the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) and the National Claim 2019/20.

Both are national issues and can only be settled by dialogue at a national level, between UCU and Universities UK (UUK) regarding the USS, and between UCU and University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) in respect of the National Claim 2019/20.

We reiterate the views expressed in our last joint statement (below) concerning the USS. We welcome the constructive series of five national meetings, following the publication of the JEP’s second report, and hope that this will lead to a resolution of the dispute.

We also welcome the further national talks regarding the National Claim 2019/20 between UCU and UCEA on three important areas of employment – contractual arrangements; workload and mental health; and gender/ethnicity pay gaps. The University and Aberdeen UCU agree that these are important areas and we are committed to working together, and with the other campus trade unions, to take forward a series of actions as follows.

Contractual arrangements: The University and Aberdeen UCU are committed to ensuring that the University is at the forefront of good employment practice. An effective Joint Consultative Committee on Redundancy Avoidance (JCCRA) is already in place, supporting redeployment of staff. The University endorses the new Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, and has established the Postdoctoral Research Committee including AUCU representation to consider its implementation. The University will also establish a Contractual Arrangements Working Group which will review the current temporary services, zero hours and guaranteed minimum hours contractual arrangements, ensuring that any recommendations are in line with ACAS good practice.

Workload and mental health: The University notes the considerable valuable work already undertaken by a working group convened by an AUCU representative and commits to building on this work with the campus trades unions via a Workforce Planning Review Group. This group will develop a framework to ensure workload is fair and reasonable and that there is a transparent approach to workload allocation. Via this group, the University further commits to monitoring the impact of workload allocation on staff health and wellbeing and addressing any issues of concern.

Gender/Ethnicity Pay Gaps: The University acknowledges ongoing work arising from the University’s Gender and Equal Pay Gap reports and commits to closing the gap across all protected characteristics, including ethnicity.

The University and AUCU recognise this work is consistent with strategic commitments outlined by the University in Aberdeen 2040. We remain hopeful that national discussions on both the USS and the National Claim continue and result in a mutually agreeable positive outcome.

Signed:

University of Aberdeen Aberdeen University and College Union
  • George Boyne,
    Principal & Vice-Chancellor
     
  • Karl Leydecker,
    Senior Vice-Principal
  • Frederik Pedersen
    (AUCU Branch Chair)
  • Syrithe Pugh
    (AUCU Communications Officer)
  • Harriet Carroll
    (AUCU Branch Anti-casualisation Officer)

 


18 February 2020

Dear colleague,

This is an update following my earlier messages about industrial action planned by the University and College Union (UCU) and the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS).

Just a reminder that the expected dates of strike action are:

UCU

  • 20, 21, 24, 25 and 26 February.
  • 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 March.

EIS

  • 20 and 25 February
  • 2, 12 and 13 March

The University will remain open for business as normal during the period of dispute.

I have to advise that you must let your Head of School/Section know if you take part in strike action, otherwise it will be assumed that you are working normally on those days. Forms for notifying of participation are available here.

I am also obliged to advise that taking part in strike action is in breach of your contract of employment and a day’s pay will be withheld from your salary for the day(s) affected. The level withheld will be calculated at 1/365th of annual salary per day.

Following a constructive meeting with Aberdeen UCU, we have agreed that pay deductions for February and March action will be made over a three-month period: in the payrolls for April, May and June. Pay deductions for EIS members will be made in April and May.

We have also agreed that the University will continue to pay employer contributions to participating USS scheme members, and that employee pension contributions will be deducted as normal, regardless of any reduction in salary as a result of strike action. This will ensure continuity of pension scheme membership and benefits.

If you are absent due to sickness on the day(s) of industrial action you must follow the normal absence reporting procedure. Requests for annual leave should be submitted in the normal manner.

In preparation for industrial action and to minimise the impact on our student experience, I have asked Heads of School/Section to advise of any anticipated operational difficulties. It would be helpful if you could let your Head of School/Section know in advance if you do intend to take action.

The University recognises the right of trade union members to take industrial action and we expect there will be a number of peaceful picket lines across campus. We strongly wish to maintain constructive talks and positive working relations with Aberdeen UCU throughout this national dispute. We hope that a resolution to the dispute can be found.

More background information and FAQs can be accessed here. Information on what has been proposed by the Universities & Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) is available here.

Best wishes

Karl

Professor Karl Leydecker
Senior Vice-Principal


11 February 2020

Dear colleagues,

I wrote to staff last week explaining that the University and College Union (UCU) had secured mandates for strike action and action short of strike at a number of Universities including Aberdeen.

We have since received notification that the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) has also secured a mandate for strike action at Aberdeen following a ballot in relation to pay.

We understand that EIS intend to instigate strike action over a period of 5 days, all of which will overlap with the industrial action UCU have already announced. The dates on which EIS members will be asked to participate in a strike are as follows:

  • Thursday 20 February 2020
  • Tuesday 25 February 2020
  • Monday 2 March 2020
  • Thursday 12 March 2020
  • Friday 13 March 2020

Unlike UCU, EIS have a mandate for strike action only and members will not be eligible to participate in action short of strike.

As I noted last week these are national negotiations between the Universities Colleges and Employers Association (UCEA) and trade unions in relation to pay. The University is committed to a fair and affordable pay settlement and pension scheme for our staff. Progress has been made on a number matters known to be important to HE institutions including casual employment; workload/mental health, and gender/ethnicity pay gaps. I would reiterate that we as a University have already made firm commitments in many of these areas. Full details of the modified offer presented to the JNCHES trade unions on 27 January by UCEA can be viewed here.

The University recognises the right of trade union members to take industrial action and we expect if no national resolution is reached before February 20 there will be a number of peaceful picket lines across campus. We strongly wish to maintain constructive talks and positive working relations with Trade Unions throughout this national dispute. We also welcome the continuation of national talks and hope that a resolution to the dispute can be found.

In the meantime, planning is underway to ensure disruption can be kept to a minimum for students and staff.

I will keep you updated on developments. We wrote to students last week and we will advise students who may be affected by the EIS industrial action shortly.

Best wishes

Karl

Professor Karl Leydecker
Senior Vice-Principal


6 February 2020

Dear colleagues,

As you may already be aware, industrial action ballots were held by the University and College Union (UCU) in relation to pay and pensions. UCU secured mandates for strike action and action short of strike at a number of Universities across the UK including Aberdeen. You will recall that a period of strike action took place in November and December 2019.

We have received notification of a further period of strike action, 14 days, to take place over a four-week period:

  • Thursday 20 and Friday 21 February
  • Monday 24, Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 February
  • Monday 2, Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4 and Thursday 5 March
  • Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 and Friday 13 March

As well as the strike days, union members are undertaking "action short of a strike". This involves measures such as working strictly to contract, not covering for absent colleagues and refusing to reschedule lectures lost to strike action.

These are national negotiations between UCU and the Universities Colleges and Employers Association (UCEA) in relation to pay, and Universities UK (UUK) in relation to the USS pension scheme.

Talks are ongoing with UCU regarding the USS pension scheme and it is hoped that the situation can be resolved and action averted. The University is committed to a fair and affordable pay settlement and pension scheme for our staff. Progress has been made on a number of matters known to be important to HE institutions and the UCU, including casual employment; workload/mental health, and gender/ethnicity pay gaps, indeed we as a University have already made firm commitments in many of these areas. Full details of the modified offer presented to the JNCHES trade unions on January 27 by UCEA can be viewed here.

The University recognises the right of trade union members to take industrial action and we expect if no national resolution is reached before February 20 there will be a number of peaceful picket lines across campus. We strongly wish to maintain constructive talks and positive working relations with Aberdeen UCU throughout this national dispute. We also welcome the continuation of national talks and hope that a resolution to the dispute can be found.

In the meantime, planning is underway to ensure disruption can be kept to a minimum for students and staff.

I will keep you updated on developments and a message to students will also be issued shortly.

Best wishes

Karl

Professor Karl Leydecker
Senior Vice-Principal


UCU and UCEA update

29 January 2020

Dear Colleagues

I write to update you on recent developments in relation to the current dispute with UCU. As you may be aware the Universities and Colleges Employer Association (UCEA) has been in dialogue with UCU over the last few months to try to address the employment matters which were subject of the dispute including casual employment; workload/mental health, and gender/ethnicity pay gaps.

UCEA has been working with us and 146 other HE institutions across the UK to listen to the issues experienced and to develop a series of statements and possible actions. This process has resulted in UCEA presenting a range of positive proposals to all Trade Unions to address these important employment issues. It is hoped that all of the Trade Unions will now consult with their members on this revised offer as a potential basis for the conclusion of the 2019-20 JNCHES round.

Through this consultation process it has been clear to UCEA that employers want to provide work environments where all people feel valued, treated fairly and with respect, and that HE institutions hold the responsibility as autonomous employers and distinctive institutions to develop solutions relevant to their specific circumstances. It is on this basis that the proposals have been formed. The full details of the proposals put forward by UCEA can be found at the following link.

We welcome this step forward in the negotiations. We are strongly supportive of the proposals and indeed have already made a number of commitments in these areas (such as eliminating pay gaps) as part of Aberdeen 2040, the development of which involved staff from right across the University. We look forward to hearing further from UCEA in respect of the discussions from this point and will of course keep you updated.

Best wishes

Karl

Karl Leydecker
Senior Vice-Principal


Joint statement from the University of Aberdeen & UCU

29 November 2019

In common with many other universities, The University of Aberdeen and the Aberdeen branch of the University and College Union (UCU) are currently in dispute over the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS). The issue is a national one, and can only be settled by dialogue at a national level between UCU and Universities UK, and an agreement between them to work together, exerting their combined influence on USS in pursuit of common goals.

By issuing this joint statement, the University of Aberdeen and Aberdeen UCU wish to make it clear that they share a commitment to maintaining strong and sustainable pensions for university staff, in a way which is affordable for members, employers, and the scheme itself, over the long term. Aberdeen UCU consider it vitally important that the USS should remain a predominantly defined benefit pension scheme.

Like Aberdeen UCU, the University of Aberdeen recognises the value to members of the defined benefit aspect of the scheme. Both parties share the view, expressed in the first report of the Joint Expert Panel, that future valuations of the scheme should be informed by a realistic assessment of risk.

Jointly, we call on Universities UK and UCU to engage positively with the findings of the Joint Expert Panel’s second report, when it is published, and also to engage, as a matter of urgency, in constructive negotiation with each other, so as to reach a point where they are able to work together in pursuit of our shared goals.

Signed:

University of Aberdeen Aberdeen University and College Union
George Boyne, Principal & Vice-Chancellor Frederik Pedersen, President
Karl Leydecker, Senior Vice-Principal David Watts, Pensions Officer
  Syrithe Pugh, AUCU Communications Officer

20 November 2019

Dear colleague,

This is an update following my earlier message about industrial action planned by the University and College Union (UCU) next week and next month. Just a reminder that the expected dates of strike action are:

  • November 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29 - Monday to Friday.
  • December 2, 3 and 4 - Monday to Wednesday.

The University will remain open for business as normal during the period of dispute.

I have to advise that you must let your Head of School/Section know if you take part in strike action, otherwise it will be assumed that you are working normally on those days. A form for notifying of participation is available here.

I am also obliged to advise that taking part in strike action is in breach of your contract of employment and a day’s pay will be withheld from your salary for the day(s) affected. The level withheld will be calculated at 1/365th of annual salary per day.

Following a constructive meeting with Aberdeen UCU, we have agreed that pay deductions for November and December action will be made over a three-month period: in the payrolls for January, February and March.

We have also agreed that the University will continue to pay employer contributions to participating USS scheme members, and that employee pension contributions will be deducted as normal, regardless of any reduction in salary as a result of strike action. This will ensure continuity of pension scheme membership and benefits.

If you are absent due to sickness on the day(s) of industrial action you must follow the normal absence reporting procedure. Requests for annual leave should be submitted in the normal manner.

In preparation for industrial action and to minimise the impact on our student experience, I have asked Heads of School/Section to advise of any anticipated operational difficulties. It would be helpful if you could let your Head of School/Section know in advance if you do intend to take action.

The University recognises the right of trade union members to take industrial action and we expect there will be a number of peaceful picket lines across campus. We strongly wish to maintain constructive talks and positive working relations with Aberdeen UCU throughout this national dispute. We also welcome the resumption of national talks and hope that a resolution to the dispute can be found in the coming days.

More background information and FAQs can be accessed here.

Best wishes

Karl

Professor Karl Leydecker
Senior Vice-Principal


8 November 2019

Dear colleagues,

As you may already be aware, industrial action ballots have been held by the unions Unison, Unite and the University and College Union (UCU) in relation to pay and pensions.

Following these UCU has secured mandates at some Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) including at the University of Aberdeen, for strike action, and Action Short of Strike (ASOS).

The national picture on UCU mandates for industrial action, following its ballots at 69 UK institutions on pay and working conditions and changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension, looks like this:

On pay, casualisation and workloads: mandates were secured at 57 HEIs. On USS: mandates were obtained at 46 HEIs.

At a local level at the University of Aberdeen, UCU has advised that of the:

  • 586 members who were eligible to vote on pay, 328 votes were cast (a 56% turnout) with 214 (65.8%) voting in favour of strike action, and 243 (74.5%) voting in favour of ASOS.
  • 584 who were eligible to vote on USS, 321 votes were cast (a 55% turnout) with 239 votes (74.9%) voting in favour of strike action, and 256 (80%) voting in favour of ASOS.

UCU has now announced eight days of strike action on November 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29 and December 2,3 and 4.

The union has also announced that ASOS - intended to be continuous and starting on November 25 and ending no later than 29 April 2020 - will consist of working to contract, not covering for absent colleagues, not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action and not undertaking any voluntary activities.

These are national negotiations between UCU and the Universities Colleges and Employers Association (UCEA) in relation to pay, and Universities UK (UUK) in relation to the USS pension scheme, and we hope that the situation can be resolved and action averted. The University is committed to a fair and affordable pay settlement and pension scheme for our staff.

In the meantime planning is underway to ensure disruption can be kept to a minimum for students and staff.

I will keep you updated on developments and a message to students will also be issued shortly.

Best wishes

Karl

Professor Karl Leydecker
Senior Vice-Principal

Student communications

February 6, 2020

Dear Student

You may have seen reports of planned industrial action by the University and College Union (UCU). This action is being taken in relation to pay and the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension – this is a national dispute involving 74 UK universities.

I am writing to assure you that whilst talks are ongoing at a national level and we do hope this industrial action can be averted, we are putting in place measures to ensure that you will not be disadvantaged in the event that the industrial action does go ahead.

As it stands, the UCU have announced plans to strike on 14 individual days:

  • Thursday 20 and Friday 21 February
  • Monday 24, Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 February
  • Monday 2, Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4 and Thursday 5 March
  • Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 and Friday 13 March

Even if industrial action does take place on these days, teaching will continue during this time. Some staff may choose to take strike action which may lead to some classes being cancelled. Where possible, Schools will inform you by email in advance of any such cancellation. If you have not been informed of any cancellations, you should assume that your classes will go ahead as planned, although you should be aware that some classes may need to be cancelled at very short notice.

In the event that teaching is cancelled due to the strike, you will not be disadvantaged. Any aspect of teaching missed as a consequence of the industrial action will not form part of any assessment associated with the course.

I wish to assure you that staff at the University are committed to providing an excellent educational experience for our students and that we are putting in place measures to ensure that the impact of this action is minimised.

Progress has been made on a number of matters known to be important to HE institutions and the UCU, including casual employment; workload/mental health, and gender/ethnicity pay gaps, indeed we as a University have already made firm commitments in many of these areas.

You can find some answers to Frequently Asked Questions here, but if you have any other more general queries not addressed by the FAQs, you should refer these to academicservices@abdn.ac.uk.

Kind regards

Ruth

Professor Ruth Taylor
Vice-Principal (Education)


November 20, 2019

Dear Student

I am writing with further information and guidance regarding the forthcoming period of industrial action being taking by the University and College Union (UCU). This strike action is taking place over an eight-day period from Monday 25 November to Wednesday 4 December inclusive. This action is being taken in relation to pay and the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension – this is a national dispute involving 60 UK universities.

Examinations will be taking place during the last three days of the strike and these will go ahead as planned. No exam will be cancelled as a consequence of the industrial action. You should therefore ensure that you attend your exams and any absence will be treated under the normal regulations.

Teaching and revision sessions will also be taking place during this time. Some staff may choose to take strike action which may lead to some classes being cancelled. Where possible, Schools will inform you by email in advance of any such cancellation. If you have not been informed of any cancellations, you should assume that your classes will go ahead as planned, although you should be aware that some classes may need to be cancelled at very short notice. In the event that teaching is cancelled due to the strike, you will not be disadvantaged. Any aspect of teaching missed as a consequence of the industrial action will not form part of any assessment associated with the course.

I would wish to assure you that staff at the University are committed to providing an excellent educational experience for our students and that we are putting in place measures to ensure that the impact of this action is minimised.

The Questions and Answers below are provided to address any concerns you may have in regard to this period of strike action. These will be updated as required and can be accessed at https://www.abdn.ac.uk/students/academic-life/strike-action-faqs-3841.php. If you have specific queries about individual courses, these should be directed to your School office.

If you have any other more general queries not addressed by the FAQs, you should refer these to academicservices@abdn.ac.uk.

Kind regards

Ruth

Professor Ruth Taylor
Vice-Principal (Education)


November 08, 2019

Dear student,

You may already be aware that ballots on industrial action have been held by the University and College Union (UCU) in relation to pay and the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension.

Following these, UCU* has secured a mandate for strike action, and Action Short of Strike (ASOS**).

UCU has now announced eight days of strike action from November 25, to December 4, part of which will overlap with the start of the examination period. Exams will still go ahead as planned on the days of action and it is important that you ensure that you attend all your exams.

I would just like to reassure you that the University is taking every step possible to minimise any disruption caused from the action.

While acknowledging that staff have the right to strike, the University remains committed to ensuring that the impact on the student experience is minimised as far as possible.

Updates will be provided on a regular basis and an FAQ page is being produced and will also be shared with you shortly.

In the meantime if you have any concerns please contact academicservices@abdn.ac.uk

Best wishes

Peter

Professor Peter McGeorge
Vice-Principal (Education)

* At a local level at the University of Aberdeen, UCU has advised that of the:

  • 586 members who were eligible to vote on pay, 328 votes were cast (a 56% turnout) with 214 (65.8%) voting in favour of strike action, and 243 (74.5%) voting in favour of ASOS.
  • 584 who were eligible to vote on USS, 321 votes were cast (a 55% turnout) with 239 votes (74.9%) voting in favour of strike action, and 256 (80%) voting in favour of ASOS.

**ASOS - intended to be continuous and starting on November 25 and ending no later than 29 April 2020 - will consist of working to contract, not covering for absent colleagues, not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action and not undertaking any voluntary activities.

Industrial Action FAQs - USS & Pay Award 2020

What will happen if I decide to strike on any of the strike days?

The University will withhold a day's pay from your salary for the day that you are involved in strike action. The level withheld will be calculated at the rate of 1/365th of annual salary per day.

You are required to notify the University of your participation in strike action in order that appropriate deductions may be made from your salary.

How do I notify the University if I participated or plan to participate in strike action?

If you have participated in strike action, please complete the appropriate pro-forma (UCU members, EIS members) which can be found on Staff Net. This can also be used to notify of your intention to participate in strike action should you wish to.

Completed forms need to be returned to your Head of School/Section and copied to hr@abdn.ac.uk within the timescales indicated on the form to ensure appropriate and accurate deductions from your salary.

I already have prior arrangements for the day(s) of the strike that will result in me being away from the University. What will happen?

All agreed absences will be honoured. You will not be regarded as being on strike and there will be no effect on your salary if you have the prior approval of your Head of School / Section to be away from the University on any of the strike days. This also applies to anyone who has organised pre-authorised annual leave, home-working or any other absence due to official University business.

I work a 9-day fortnight pattern and I am participating in strike action, will I still be entitled to my day off?

Under the 9-day fortnight scheme, if you were absent from work and were not able to accrue enough hours, you are not entitled to a day off. The pay deductions made for participating in strike are based on 1/365th of your annual salary per day, which only covers your basic contractual hours (i.e. 7.5 hours a day) as such, it does not cover sufficient number of hours for you to claim a day off. The cycle will reset the following week / first week of no industrial action.

I cannot attend work during strike day(s) due to adverse weather. What will happen?

If you indicated that you were going to participate in strike action on a day of adverse weather, or intended to do so, then your absence will count as a strike day and you should complete the pro-forma on this basis.

If you indicated that you would have been at work, or intended to be, but were not able to attend due to adverse weather, then your absence will be considered in line with the Severe Weather Policy.

Will my pension be affected if I take part in the industrial action?

It has been agreed on this occasion that the University will continue to pay employer contributions to participating scheme members. Similarly, employee pension contributions will be deducted as normal irrespective of any reduction in salary as a consequence of participation in industrial action. This will ensure continuity of pension scheme membership and life assurance benefits.

What happens if I am ill on any of the strike days?

If you are ill on any of the strike days you will be entitled to the sickness benefits available to you. If you are absent due to sickness on the day(s) of industrial action you must follow the normal absence reporting procedure.

Can I take annual leave on any of the strike days?

Annual leave that has the prior approval of your line manager will be accepted. If you do not report for work and prior approval has not been given for your absence, you will be regarded as being on strike and appropriate pay will be withheld.

I am not participating in industrial action. What should I do on the day of the strike?

You should report to work as usual. If you are absent from the office due to pre-authorised Annual Leave or sickness, you must ensure that this is reported through to your line manager / Head of School.

Can I be asked to cover the work of those taking industrial action?

If your line manager asks that you undertake such work, as long as it is within the bounds of your contract, normal work and job description, you are obliged to do so.

Will there be picket lines around the University on the day(s) of the strike?

Yes, we anticipate that the unions will have picket lines at the main entrances to our campuses.

In general the number of pickets should not exceed six employees (plus a full-time union official). The only purpose of the picket is to peacefully obtain or communicate information or to peacefully persuade a person not to work.

What should I do if I am confronted by staff on picket lines?

Picketing is covered by a Code of Practice which recommends that usually there should be no more than 6 people outside an entrance to, or exit from, a workplace.

Pickets are required to conduct themselves in a peaceful and non-threatening manner. Some staff on picket duty may seek to persuade you not to work but they have no right to impede your access to University premises. If you wish to work on the day of the strike you should walk or drive carefully past the picket line and report for work as normal.

What should I expect from the picket lines?

You should expect the picket lines to be professionally organised and the behaviour of the pickets to be courteous. The pickets will conduct themselves in accordance with the Code of Practice. However if any incident does occur that causes any concern you should report the circumstance immediately to your Head of School, to the Director of People, Human Resources (on ext. 3732) or to the Head of HR (on ext. 3115)

If I join the picket line at lunchtime am I on strike?

Yes. If you participate in any action you will be regarded as being on strike and a day's pay will be withheld.

My Head of School doesn't always know my whereabouts as I regularly work from home. He/she may report me as being absent on strike when I am not. How can I be sure that you will not withhold pay from me?

It is important that you make sure your Head of School/Head of Section is informed of your working arrangements on any of the strike days. If there are likely to be any queries about your whereabouts and you are not on strike, then you should take steps to ensure your line manager is aware of your situation. In these circumstances you will not have any payments withheld from your salary. In addition all staff who participate in the strike action will receive a letter advising them that monies will be withheld from their salary payment at the end of the month.

Will I be informed if a reduction is going to be made from my salary?

Yes, you will be sent a letter advising you that the University will withhold a day's pay from your salary for the day that you are involved in strike action. The level withheld will be calculated at the rate of 1/365th of annual salary per day. If you work part-time, a deduction will be made equivalent to contractual hours that should have been worked on each day on which strike action takes place.

I am due to retire this year. However, I am considering taking part in the current industrial action in support of the dispute. Will my pension be affected?

No, it has been agreed on this occasion that the University will continue to pay employer contributions to participating scheme members. Similarly, employee pension contributions will be deducted as normal irrespective of any reduction in salary as a consequence of participation in industrial action. This will ensure continuity of pension scheme membership and life assurance benefits.

I am working on a visa - does this affect my right to strike?

Staff employed on a Tier 2 visa should be aware that the University, as your sponsor, is required to report unauthorised absence (such as strike action) if it continues for more than 10 consecutive days. Please contact your HR team for further information on this.

I'm not striking but I don't want to cross the picket line so can I work from home?

Picketing is covered by a Code of Practice which recommends that usually there should be no more than 6 people outside an entrance to, or exit from, a workplace.

Pickets are required to conduct themselves in a peaceful and non-threatening manner. Some staff on picket duty may seek to persuade you not to work but they have no right to impede your access to University premises. If you wish to work on the day of the strike you should walk or drive carefully past the picket line and report for work as normal.

I'm not striking but I don't want to cross the picket can I arrange meetings off site?

It is important that you make sure your Head of School/Head of Section is informed of your working arrangements on any of the strike days. If there are likely to be any queries about your whereabouts and you are not on strike, then you should take steps to ensure your line manager is aware of your situation and has approved your working arrangements on any of the strike days.

Notification form

The completed form must be returned to your Head of School/Section and copied to hr@abdn.ac.uk by 10th April 2020.

If for any reason you are unable to return the form by the deadline, you should contact your Head of School/Section as soon as possible.