The University of Sheffield’s statement on industrial action and ‎dispute resolution

The University Executive Board (UEB) has agreed the following principles and approach. This will govern how the University of Sheffield manages situations of dispute resolution and those involving industrial action.

Principles:‎

  • The experience of our students will be paramount and our approach ‎will reflect our commitment to ensure that students receive an ‎outstanding education and experience at the University of Sheffield.
  • We will work closely with the trade unions to create a working environment which supports the University’s ambitions and strategic objectives, and will work hard to avoid disputes and achieve and maintain constructive ‎employee relations.
  • We understand that industrial action is taken as a last resort and will respect people’s right to undertake lawful industrial action.
  • We do not accept partial performance and reserve the right to withhold pay from those who do not fulfil their full (express and implied) terms of their contract of employment. This applies equally to all staff.
  • We will consider the impact on our students, staff not taking industrial action and other key interested parties in determining our approach in any given period of industrial action, noting that it may vary depending on the nature of any dispute.
  • We will be clear to all involved of our position during any period of industrial action.

Approach to dispute resolution and industrial action

  • Where collective disputes arise locally, these will be handled as jointly agreed with recognised trade unions in the University’s Trade Union Recognition, Facilities and Dispute Resolution Agreement (2014).
  • Disputes at a national level are normally co-ordinated by UCEA or UUK as collective employer representatives. The University will ensure its views are fed into any collective position, recognising that it is one of many employers likely to be party to a national dispute.
  • If industrial action is taken, we will respond appropriately on the basis ‎of the principles outlined above and seek to minimise the impact on students and other key stakeholders.
  • Those staff who participate in industrial action will be made aware of the consequences of doing so by the relevant trade union, including the impact on their contract of employment and potentially pay. The University will ensure this is clear for all staff considering taking industrial action and will signpost them to this position statement.
  • Partial performance which breaches the explicit or implied terms of the contract of employment will lead to up to 100% of pay being withheld per day of partial performance, taking into account the impact on the university's performance and/or to its ‎students and other stakeholders.
  • The daily rate of pay for calculating pay deductions will be deemed to be 1/365th of annual salary for a full time employee, pro-rated for part time arrangements.
  • Casual workers who withhold their labour will not receive payment for the hours they were scheduled to work.
  • Partial performance can take many forms, including, but not limited to:
    • strike action
    • working to contract (where this breaches explicit and implied terms in the contract of employment)
    • not undertaking an aspect of an individual’s normal role and duties (e.g. a marking and assessment boycott or other activity normally expected within the role parameters)
  • Our approach will be in adherence with the prevailing relevant legal framework in the UK.