strike update Tues 25 Feb 2020

We’ve been busy on the picket lines. Having fun – today we were flipping pancakes- yet spending time chatting with staff and students explaining about the reasons behind our action.


We held an organising meeting in Wivenhoe on Friday. Approx 30 members met to discuss current issues at Essex and how to address them. The following discussion working groups were set up to generate demands around workload, casualisation, equality, the environment, and the proposed People Supporting Strategy. The groups will present demands to be agreed upon by members at a meeting on the final day of the strike (Friday 13 March). A group will also work on ideas for ways to mark International Women’s Day which this year falls on Sunday 8 March. There are also plans for an interim meeting on Tuesday 3 March to update on progress. If you would like to contribute to any of the working groups please contact the lead for that group listed below.

Workload – Peter Patrick –
Casualisation – Ayse Sargin –
Equality – Jak Peake –
Environment – Jane Hindley –
People Supporting Strategy – Cathy Crawford –
International Women’s Day – Ayse Sargin –

Please do get in touch to contribute your ideas and perspectives so that the demands we generate are as relevant as possible to you and your colleagues.

See our twitter feed @UCUEssex for photos from our picket lines.


Please email if you wish to be added to the picket rota for the next few weeks.

Day 1 of renewed strike action (20 Feb 2020)

Jo Grady’s day 1 update:




Dear colleague

Over the past few weeks I have warned employers not to underestimate UCU members by assuming we are reluctant to escalate our disputes. If the pickets I’ve visited at SOAS in London and the other picket lines and rallies I’ve seen photos of today are anything to go by, I was right.

Despite some terrible weather across the UK there has been so much commitment and enthusiasm, with some branches reporting more members than ever turning out in support of the strikes. You can take a look at some photos and videos from the physical and digital picket lines on our ‘wall of action’.

We have had messages of solidarity from shadow education secretary Angela Rayner and from the NUS. I have also recorded a short video with the NUS vice president (higher education) to explain to students why we need and value their support.

I have spoken to Sky News, LBC, ITV News and the BBC to explain why these disputes matter. Listen to my interview on the Today programme on Radio 4 this morning here.

Our employers have never spent less of their money on you than they do currently. All we are asking is for an end to a ten-year trend of declining investment in staff. If you take every day of action like this one, I believe we can make that happen.

Jo Grady
UCU general secretary


Meanwhile here in Essex, we had 3 fully supported picket lines – luckily we missed out on the rain- just blown around a lot by the wind. We’ll post as many photos as we can on our twitter feed @UCUEssex

Honk if you drive past us!! We’ll be on Boundary Rd each strike morning from 8-10am.

Park Rd 20 Feb 2020
Park Rd 20 Feb 2020
Park Rd 20 Feb 2020
Park Rd 20 Feb 2020