Strike Details – Bristol Unison Strike, September 2022   

UoBristol UNISON Branch will strike over three consecutive days:  

Monday 26thSeptember, Tuesday, 27th September & Wednesday 28th September 

 Branch Support Meeting Thursday 29th September 1pm to 1.45pm 

 Microsoft Teams meeting 

Click here to join the meeting 

What is Industrial Action? 

 Industrial action can include strike action (which is any concerted stoppage of work) or action short of strike action such as ‘go-slows’ or ‘working to rule.’ 

 Industrial Action FAQ’s 

 What is a Picket Line? 

 A picket line is when members meet at the workplace to increase awareness and support for their cause. Picketing members may also tell other workers about the problem in the workplace. 

 During a picket line you are allowed to persuade workers, including substitute workers and delivery people, to stop interacting with the business. This must be done peacefully, as criminal law still applies to picket lines. 

 You are not allowed to use threatening behaviour or force to prevent others from attending work, cause criminal damage, or prevent police officers from carrying out their duties. 

 The police, in Great Britain, can use special powers, such as obtaining an order prohibiting the picket, if the picket contains more than 20 people and they believe it may result in serious disruption to the life of the community. 

 Managers – Notification of taking strike action 

 You are under no obligation to inform University of Bristol management in advance as to whether you will be taking part in strike action. Unison provides the University with all relevant information.  

 Once you are back to work following the strike action, you should respond truthfully to any query from your employer as to whether you have taken or are taking industrial action. You should not, however, respond to any such query while you are on strike.   

 Information given by HR regarding reporting having taken industrial action is available at:    This needs to be updated by HR to reflect the dates of our strike and that it is UNISON NOT UCU taking strike action. 

 Please note:  

 you must confirm the strike action you have taken by emailing and cc-ing your line manager with the above information  

  • On returning to work after strike action, while it is reasonable to ask colleagues to catch up on work lost during strike action, members should note that other work will need to be de-prioritised to do this.  
  • Any attempts to ‘de-prioritise’ work should also be accompanied by specific concrete guidance of what tasks and activities staff should not carry out to complete said priority work.  
  • You should inform colleagues before and after taking strike action that they should not attempt to cover work normally undertaken by striking staff.  


The Student Union Sabbaticals (and some societies) have been approached to support our action. Encourage students to sign this ‘Open Letter from UoB students supporting the strike’:  See text at the end of the document. 

If you haven’t already, you may want to consider “trailing” the action with students and encourage them to support us by writing to the VC and joining us at our rallies / picket lines. 

You should be giving them the background to the dispute and tell them that you are a Unison member. We’re worth more, we can’t afford less 

You do not need to tell students or anyone else that you will be going on strike.    

Make sure that the students understand that we are losing pay for every day that we strike.  


  • Please request that colleagues do NOT cover your workload, or undertake administrative tasks not included in their job description. 
  • We are asking all members of staff to send an e-mail to the Senior Management Team (SMT) – The VC, the Provost, the Chief Operating Officer (COO), the Registrar and the Chief People Person (CPP) from 21st September: 
  • See text at the end of the document 

Out-of-Office Message  

We encourage staff to use an out-of-office once the strike action begins. For example:  

I am a member of UNISON and am taking industrial action to address a 3% pay rise, which is a pay cut as inflation is currently at 9.9%. To find out more about our dispute: HE strike news 

Reminder: – Branch Support Meeting Thursday 29th September 1pm to 1.45pm 

Microsoft Teams meeting 

Join on your computer or mobile app 

Click here to join the meeting 

 E-mail for students to send to SMT: 

 E-mail addresses:,,,, 

 Please entitle the e-mail: Supporting Industrial action by UoB UNISON


 Dear Evelyn Welch,  

 I am writing to ask for your help in ending the current industrial action by Professional Services staff, by asking the University to increase their pay in line with inflation.  

I chose to study at the University of Bristol because of its reputation as a centre of excellence. Therefore, I am surprised to find that the staff who run such an institution on a day-to-day-basis, are not being offered a pay rise that will address the rising cost of living, and that they have been losing out against inflation year on year since 2009.  

 Responsibility for the disruption of my studies lies with senior management at the University, who have the power to resolve this dispute very quickly.  

 Please encourage your senior leadership team to negotiate with UNISON for a fair pay agreement. This pay agreement should protect the staff that do the essential administrative work around our education and provide the support services that students rely on.  

 There is no shortcut to an excellent student experience, and the University must make good on its promises to students, by ensuring its staff are properly paid to deliver them.  



 E-mail for non-UNISON members to send to SMT: 

 E-mail addresses:,,,, 

 Please entitle the e-mail: Supporting Industrial action by UoB UNISON 

Dear Professor Welch, 

 Unison represents staff across all divisions and departments of the university and intend to strike to show that we are struggling with the rising cost of living. 

 Please publicly support your staff and help end UNISON’s strike and University of Bristol staff’s struggle to be paid fairly and in line with inflation. 

 UNISON does not want to strike; we all care about the impact this will have on our students and our colleagues. We cannot keep a leading university running, and look after students as well as we would want to, while we are worrying about our decreasing pay and increasing bills. University of Bristol UNISON branch feel they have been left with no other option than to strike.  

 The university can afford to pay staff more. It reported at the end of 2021 that cash and cash equivalents rose during the pandemic to £222.4 million, including an £86.6 million surplus for that year (rising from £81.8 million in 2020). The university’s income is rising year on year. 

 I am emailing to ask that you support your staff in asking the university to increase staff wages in line with inflation.


 The text of the e-mail has been distributed to UCU and Unite and they are requesting their members to send an e-mail to the SMT. 

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