What’s happening?

Durham’s UCU membership voted to take part in strike action and action short of a strike, if required, both on the issue of pensions and on the issues of pay, inequality and casualisation. Strike action took place from 25 November-4 December 2019. Action Short of a Strike continues this term, and more strike action is planned for February and March.

February-March 2020 strike action

UCU has announced 14 days of strikes this term:

  • Week 1: Thursday 20 & Friday 21 February
  • Week 2: Monday 24-Wednesday 26 February
  • Week 3: Monday 2-Thursday 5 March
  • Week 4: Monday 9-Friday 13 March

Action short of a strike (ASOS)

Action short of a strike (ASOS) continues this term. If you are asked to report on your participation in ASOS, UCU head office advises that you send the following message: “Thanks for your email. UCU has already advised you that it is calling upon members to undertake action short of a strike.” DUCU is actively monitoring University management’s response to ASOS and UCU Head Office is supporting us with this.

As you will have seen in a recent email from Jo Grady, more strike action is possible this term, with escalating action on USS proposed from mid February. More information will be available after the UCU national executive committee (NEC) meets in late January, and one item for the branch meeting next week is to gather views to inform the NEC’s discussion.

About the action

November-December 2019 action

UCU was on strike between the following dates:

Monday 25 – Friday 29 NovemberMonday 2 – Wednesday 4 December

There will be regular updates on this page. You may also want to follow the branch accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for up-to-the-minute news.


Picket lines will run from 08.00 to 10.00 each day of the strike. There will be picket lines at various entrances to the University. Your Department / section may have made arrangements to picket at a particular location – please look out for a communication from your rep, or ask them. If you are not sure where to picket, please come to the ‘map’ entrance of the University Science (Lower Mountjoy) site (close to the Bill Bryson Library and the Whitechurch cafe) – there will be people there to help and advise. Don’t worry if you can’t turn up at 08.00 or cannot stay for the full period – just do what you can. 

Picketing is a very important part of the strike action. It gives an opportunity to show strength of feeling and to engage people with campaigns. So please do your best to support the picket lines. We found in the last strike that being on a picket line was a great way to get to know other members of the University, and many people enjoyed the experience. So, wrap up warmly and come along!