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Day three and a very good morning to Joanna Cherry QC

Joanna Cherry QC and MP for Edinburgh South West visits the picket line #OneOfUsAllOfUs

While many of us were still in bed Joanna Cherry QC our local MP for the Edinburgh South West constituency was up and about meeting the early birds on the picket line. The university is one of the biggest local employers and we want to see it commit to the community that serves it by undertaking to tackle insecure contracts, pay erosion, work-induced stress, gender pay gaps, and poverty in retirement. You know it makes sense.

A big thank-you Joanna. It means so much that you stand with us. Solidarity. 

…and not to be upstaged, Daisy the dog still means business too #hwucupickets

When you return to work you should declare truthfully if you have taken part in strike action. It can be entered in ERP as unpaid leave. From Monday members will be working to contract on Action Short of Strike. This means that we work to the hours stipulated in our contracts. You do not have to declare to anyone that you are working ASOS, or enter it in ERP. Just don’t do all those extra hours that you have been doing for free. Our employers may have grown to expect it, and even more so during the current covid crisis, but think about whether they are demonstrating that they value your efforts.

So, if you haven’t already, join the good fight.


A cold start but warm spirits on second day of industrial action

A frosty start to day 2

Thank-you all those hardy souls who visited the picket line this morning despite the freezing weather, and thank-you too to all of you on strike at home who zoomed in from the virtual picket.

If you didn’t catch it live, you can still watch the Scotland-wide national rally at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buT2_l6PI1o. Outstanding speeches, in particular from Matt Crilly, NUS Scotland President (approx. at 26:00) and Steve Reicher (approx. at 31:00) – they are a must watch!

Tomorrow is the last strike day in 2021. Time to show our bosses that they need to agree to address deteriorating pay, inequalities, excessive workloads, and creeping casualisation

Join us at the main entrance from 8.30 – 10.30am and lets make it a big one.

Support for strike action from the Society of Progressive students

Members of the Student Progressive Society join the picket.

We were thrilled to have members of the Society of Progressive Students join us on the picket line today. The Society is committed to raise awareness of ongoing issues and to promote student engagement and discussion.

It is great hear that we have so much support from our students. Our working conditions are your learning conditions and together we make our universities what they are.



Have you voted yet?

You should have received your ballot envelope from UCU. It will contain two ballot forms. You should return both ballot forms.

In order for the result of the vote to count it needs to pass the 50% turnout threshold, so please vote no matter what your view is.

The Heriot-Watt University branch of UCU believes you should reject the offers made from UUK (USS) and UCEA (pay, casualisation, workload, pay gaps). Accepting the offer, or failing to vote, signals that you agree to higher workloads, pay cuts, reduced pensions benefits (in the region of 20%), casualisation, and race and gender pay gaps.

Ask yourself: is this a sector that is looking after staff interests; is this a sector that will start looking after its staff anytime soon?

Please ensure that your ballot papers are received no later than noon on Thursday 4 November if you wish for your votes to be counted. So, posted by Tuesday 2 November.

If you have not received your voting packs. Please contact the UCU at https://yoursay.ucu.org.uk/s3/USS-HE-replacement-form.

If you are not a member it is not too late to join and have your say, so why not join today?

Security Matters

Security Matters is UCU’s campaign magazine featuring discussion of issues facing precarious workers in post-secondary education and reports on the union’s work to win better, more secure jobs for education professionals.