Birkbeck UCU | News | Dispute Bulletin No. 6

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Dispute Bulletin No. 6

UCU Branch Meeting, Fri 9 March, Main Building, 1.00 – 2.00 pm, Room 623A
This will be an opportunity to:
 review progress of the strike and picketing to date  discuss progress in the negotiations  feedback any views, issues or concerns to our negotiators  submit views on a new round of industrial action, should this prove necessary, with options to include strikes and a marking boycott
Dangerous picket line dog triggers union investigation
The union has received a complaint from a member of the college about ‘a small toy dog’ that ‘partially blocked the entrance’ to 43 Gordon Square, allegedly posing a threat to unwary citizens attempting to enter the building. Because pickets are not supposed to blockade buildings, the union conducted an immediate investigation. When presented with a detailed description of the events, including photographic evidence, Rufus the dog exercised his right to remain silent. The union committee unanimously voted to censure Rufus for his breach of union picketing protocol. It also decided that henceforth Rufus would only be permitted to picket in the presence of a Designated Dog Picket Supervisor (DDPS).

TUC Deputy General Secretary to visit picket line Wed evening
Paul Nowak, TUC DGS, will be visiting the picket line at the Main Building, Wed 7 March, shortly before 6.00 pm so do turn up and say hello.


Zizek masterclass cancelled
Slavoj Zizek was due to present a masterclass on Wed 7 and Thurs 8 March as part of the Institute of the Humanities, but Institute Co-Director Esther Leslie has confirmed the class has been cancelled as an act of solidarity.
Birkbeck UCU Twitter account
Birkbeck UCU is on twitter - @BirkbeckUCU. If you'd like to tweet on behalf of Birkbeck UCU, please message us on twitter or send an email to Robert Stearn ( and we'll let you know the new password.
Hourly paid staff wanted for THE interviews
Sophie Inge, reporter at Times Higher Education, is looking for academics on hourly-paid contracts at UK universities. If you are interested in sharing your experiences (I’m sure what you say can be anonymised) please write to
Employers’ USS pension holiday
Picketing rota WwQ/edit#gid=1304531884
Diary dates
Wed-Thurs 7-8 March
Strikes week 3
Thurs 8 March
International Women’s Day March. Assemble Russell Square, 1.00 pm
Fri 9 March
Union branch meeting, Main Building, 1.00 – 2.00 pm, Room 623A
Mon-Fri 12-16 Mar
Strikes week 4


Join the UCU!
If you have received this bulletin as a non-member, and you are employed at Birkbeck, join the hundreds of colleagues who are already union members and sign up NOW! Just follow this link to the online form and it will take only a few minutes:
General queries - John Kelly
T&S staff queries - Mike Berlin
USS pension queries – Nick Pronger
Picketing – Sophie Hope
FAQs about the strike -
Action Points
 Please circulate this bulletin to all staff in your Dept, using Departmental email lists, to ensure that non-members can read about the dispute and join the union.  Come to the Union Branch meeting, Fri 9 March, 1.00 -2.00 pm, Main Building, Room 623A.  Tell your students about the dispute and the strike dates and urge them to write to the Chief Executive of Universities UK, Alistair Jarvis,  Social media: spread news of the dispute through Facebook and Twitter accounts.  Join the picket!
Tuesday 6 March 2018