Summary of the strike & other short announcements

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Short summary of Friday (the day of strike)

We had a fantastic day of strike action on Friday. We spoke to hundreds and hundreds of students and parents about our vision for a better University that would embody the spirit of democratic practices of work and learning. We have received overwhelming support from prospective students, as well as multiple messages of solidarity on social media and statements via email. 

All the 6 pickets were joyful and very well staffed, and food was there whenever we needed it. Thanks a million Lee and Joe for your hard work to make sure that everyone was well fed and accommodated! 

We launched our Real Birmingham Heroes campaign (see one of the posters attached), wore cowboy hats and masks, and gave out leaflets and stickers. Some of our guests were: MP Preet Gill, MP Liam Byrne, former academic and entertainer Carl Chinn, Unite the Community trade union branch, Fire Brigade Union, councillors Pete Lowe, Nicky Brennan, Alex Aitken (among others), Momentum Birmingham, GMB Birmingham, UCU, Unite and GMB branches on campus, the Socialist Party branch of Birmingham and others. 

If you have any information on whether the university has used agency workers or students to cover for work in your department, please let us know asap.

How did Friday go for you? This survey is aimed at both those who attended and those who did not attend the strike:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Y2RZZYP

You are incredible; our day of action around the perimeter of the university was fantastic. We recruited new members and, by showing up and picketing the gates of the university, that we are prepared to stand by each other and make our demands in a positive and good-natured manner. 

We really need your feedback, so please answer the questions in the survey if you have time.  Of course email us separately if there’s something else you’d like to add that isn’t covered. If you know any strikers from our sister unions then please invite them to email us too.

Did you take photos or videos on Friday during the Strike? Please send them to us!

We are collecting all the materials we can find, so we can put them all in one place (and potentially create a nice video!). 

We are looking into a number of complaints of managers filming, writing names down and speaking to reps aggressively on the day of the strike. We see this as intimidation of staff exercising their lawful right to strike and will not let it go unanswered. Please send us details if you experienced any of this, as it will help us follow it up.

UoB alumnus Yanis Varoufakis (former Greek Minister of Finance and prominent economist) supports our campaign

We are delighted to have received support from a well-known and esteemed University of Birmingham alumnus, Yanis Varoufakis. Yanis undertook his MA in Statistics at the University of Birmingham in 1981/1982. In response to our tweet regarding the inequality on campus and our strike, he responded:

‘My support is a given. The proletarisation of University staff began during Thatcher’s reign and has now reached its apotheosis under a managerial model inimical to higher education’. 

We are all Real Birmingham Heroes – we need your photo for our poster campaign!

We will not stand aside while inequality is widening on campus. When senior managers are off work, nobody notices. When we are not in, the University cannot function. More information can be found here: http://uobunison.org.uk/real-heroes-campaign

Hardship fund

If you would like to claim back lost pay, please fill in the form attached (we have hard copies ourselves, email us if you need one) and bring your payslip to us at the end of the month, so we can reimburse your day’s pay. 

We recognise that the form is long, as it was designed to include all the information necessary to allow us to target support if resources were short – we do not expect that to be the case, so please leave this information off the form if you prefer. 

Donating towards the hardship fund – send the GoFundMe link to your contacts

We are encouraging all contacts (family, friends, trade union branches, and others) to donate towards the hardship fund, so we can make sure that we are covered for the eventual future days of strike action. Please share this link widely: https://gofundme.com/uob-unison-strike-fund

Reminder – you do not have to tell your manager, or state on New Core, that you were on Strike on Friday 28th June. By default, by not being there, the University will assume anyway that you were on strike. You do not have to confirm whether that is the case.

Any other questions or concerns, let us know!

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