On 10 November University and College Union (UCU) members working in most further education colleges in England will be taking strike action in response to the pay offer by the Association of Colleges.
UCU is not however taking action in Northbrook College due to a local agreement with the UCU there.
UNISON is currently collating responses from colleges and working with branches and regions in preparation for similar pay disputes. A further update on the UNISON ballot will follow after the National Further Education and Sixth Form Colleges Committee meet on 2 December.
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UNISON encourages members in colleges to support their UCU colleagues on picket lines and lunchtime protests.
However, UNISON members in colleges have not been balloted and therefore they are advised to continue with their normal duties and responsibilities. UNISON members should not take on any additional responsibilities given to them as a result of the UCU industrial action.
Members are reminded that due to industrial relations legislation only those employees who have been involved in a legal ballot are allowed to take industrial action.
If members are instructed by their manager to undertake additional duties resulting from the industrial action they should contact their branch or regional office for further advice.
Official Picket Lines
Refusal to cross an official picket line could render members of staff liable to disciplinary action including deduction of salary. The exception to this is where there are genuine grounds to believe that crossing the picket line could put the person concerned at risk of injury. Members are advised that they should assure the UCU members that they will not undertake any work normally done by those on strike.
If the college decides to close the premises and staff are unable to undertake their duties, UNISON members should not suffer any deduction of pay or be expected to work additional hours to make up the time.