25 November 2011

National Industrial Action 30 November 2011

On Wednesday 30 November 2011 a number of trade unions are planning to take industrial action, primarily in relation to changes to national public sector pension schemes.

The University will remain open on 30 November 2011 and aims to ensure services and activities can continue as usual.

Where staff experience difficulties outside of work, for example in relation to school closures or public transport disruption as a result of the national industrial action, the University’s normal procedure for handling such conditions will apply. Guidance on this can be found at www.sheffield.ac.uk/hr/guidance/adverseconditions/index.

Staff are advised to monitor the media and local government web pages for up to date information on services which may affect them.

Travel South Yorkshire have issued a statement informing the public that their services will not be affected by the industrial action (http://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/disruptions.aspx). Staff travelling from further afield are advised to monitor the media and transport providers’ websites for up to date information.

It will be for each department to determine the best arrangements for its staff to ensure the delivery of services, particularly in student facing areas. Staff members are advised to identify, with their managers, flexible ways of working if their personal arrangements outside of work will be impacted by the industrial action.

UCU have informed the University that they intend to escalate the current “work to contract”, which they have undertaken since 10 October 2011, to strike action on 30 November 2011. This dispute is in relation to changes to the national Higher Education pension scheme, USS, which were implemented on 1 October 2011. Information in relation to the changes can be found on our web pages at www.shef.ac.uk/finance/staff-information/mymoney/mypension/uss.

Following a ballot of their membership across the HE sector in relation to the national pay negotiations, Unite have informed the University that they are asking their members to take action short of a strike on a continuous basis from 30 November 2011. This action will take the form of a “ban on overtime and working strictly to contract”. The national pay negotiations are on-going between the University employers (UCEA) and the five unions recognised at a national level. Details of the negotiations can be found via our web pages at www.shef.ac.uk/hr/reward/paynegotiation.

As with any form of industrial action, staff are reminded that where action is taken, either in the form of a strike or action short of a strike resulting in a breach of contract, then pay will be deducted. Staff are also reminded that the University does not accept partial performance, and that full pay may be deducted should staff not fulfil their contractual duties. Please see the full statement on our approach to industrial action on our web pages at www.sheffield.ac.uk/hr/reward/paynegotiation/statement.

Further information on the situation on 30 November 2011 is available at www.sheffield.ac.uk/hr/guidance/industrialaction.