Snowy Strike day #5 Freezing Frivolity (28 Feb 2018)

We know there’s a serious point to this striking….but we had some fun in the snow today too. After a few scary journeys onto campus, we decided to enjoy this picket line malarkey.

solitary picketer left behind to man the picket lines in our absence


Don’t know why this has posted sideways. Too cold to sort at the mo.

Massive turnout on the picket lines despite the weather (did I say it had snowed?!). Massive thanks to all. Proud of the way this branch is responding to this industrial action.


Don’t forget -Asos tomorrow & Friday.

UUK agree to Acas talks but strikes remain on (27 Feb 2018)

UCU finally met UUK today.
UCU put forward a comprehensive set of proposals to resolve the dispute.
You can read more about these proposals here.
The employers’ response to our proposals was to, at last, agree to go to ACAS in an attempt to resolve the dispute.
A welcome development.

But the strikes remain on.

Strike Day #4 ~ it snowed, we showed up in force! Feb 27 2018

It snowed today. But not only did all the pickets on the rota show up, but extras did too. That’s how strongly we feel about defending our pensions. Photos on photo gallery page.

We’ll back to face the snow again tomorrow! There’s a Visit Day tomorrow, so we’ll have longer picket hours. Wrap up warm but do come and join us.

Later in the day it was announced that UUK have agreed at long last to go into talks with UCU via Acas. A welcome development. However strikes remain on.


Strikes remain ON …and well supported despite the snow ~Strike Day#3 (Feb 26)

And today the snow came. But as many pickets as ever turned out. We had visitors from the local trades council, Unite & our UCU Regional Office.

UUK may be pretending that they want to talk, but until they actually wish to negotiate and reverse their decision to radically worsen our pensions, we will continue to strike.

Today’s photos are on the Photo Gallery page


Frozen (but) solid! Update from Strike Day #2…and UUK ask for “talks” (23 Feb 2018)

It was a tad chilly on the picket lines today. But the picketers remained cheery and determined to do whatever it takes to defend their pensions.

Later in the day, UUK said they would talk with UCU on Tuesday but  “talks would not re-open the Joint Negotiating Committee decision made on 23 January”.

Not sure what will be discussed then because that decision is the very reason staff are on strike.

Strikes remain on Mon, Tues & Wed next week.

Thanks for all your support today on Strike Day #1 (22 Feb 2018)

Essex UCU would like to thank everyone: staff, students & visitors who came out to help or support the picket lines today. We’re delighted with how it all went. There are photos…but tbh we’re exhausted now. I’ll add some over the weekend here. In the meantime, follow our twitter feed to check how our strike is going/see photos @UCUEssex

Essex VC speaks out publicly re USS (posted 19 Feb 2018)

This morning the vice-chancellor (VC),  Anthony Forster, of the University of Essex became the latest to join the leaders of institutions like Loughborough, Glasgow, Warwick, Birkbeck, Goldsmiths, Strathclyde, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and others in publicly calling for a resumption of national talks to resolve the USS dispute.

In accepting that a solution to the dispute may well mean increases in contributions for employers he says succinctly that ‘principles sometimes cost money.’

Essex UCU thank the VC for speaking out.

See full message:

in Times Higher Education Supplement:

Online link to Essex VC blog:

Wed 14 Feb Strike meeting plus Outdoors Assembly (posted 13 Feb-updated plan)

UCU industrial action meeting/outdoors assembly Wed 14 Feb

There’s had to be a few changes to tomorrow’s plans….(mostly so our branch officials can attend the all staff/student meeting that the VC & Registrar  have just announced re our strike action). 

  • 12pm- in   Tony Rich Teaching Centre TC1.17,  Essex UCU Industrial action meeting –firming up plans following last Friday’s meeting. UCU members only.
  • 1pm- still hoping to put slogans on banners….still unsure of location- depends on weather…watch this space….!!
  • (1.45-2.45 UoE meeting in Ivor Crewe)
  • Hence 3pmstart of our Outdoors Assembly –meet in square 3 to highlight our message/upcoming action. All staff, students, supportive-guests welcome!

Questions about the strike action (posted 5 Feb 2018)

Essex UCU are holding meetings at University of Essex to plan this industrial action on 9 Feb and 14 Feb. Only Essex UCU members should attend.

Most questions can be answered by reading the the FAQ

Essex UCU branch members with questions pertaining to industrial action that are not answered within the FAQs should email

Students with questions should  watch this video. 

The NUS have supported this action and the Essex SU President will be emailing the student body shortly. Ask your lecturers why they are striking.

With any other queries please email our general enquiry email

Updates on the strike and USS situation can be read at the national website: