Industrial Action relating to proposed changes to public sector pensions
A lot of the trade union literature and the ballot information talks about legal strike action. Does this mean if I do take strike action and because it is legal I will still be paid?
If you take part in any form of industrial action you will not be paid for the period you withdraw your labour. Taking lawful industrial action involves going through the ballot processes and should the vote be in favour of strike action and strike action is called then anyone participating in that strike action will not be paid for the period they choose to participate.
By way of guidance, the following is the gross value of a day’s pay for LJMU staff:
Grade 9 - £202.15 Grade 8 - £174.37 Grade 7 - £137.65
Grade 6 - £111.92 Grade 5 -£91.00 Grade 4 – £74.08
Grade 3 - £64.22
If I take strike action and I don’t get paid will this affect my pension?
Should you take part in strike action and you are subsequently not paid for the duration of your participation in that action, then for every day of action you participate in you will lose a day’s pensionable service. The overall implications of the loss of service would have to be calculated on an individual basis and would have varying degrees of impact based on an individual’s age and length of service.
Local Government Pension Scheme members may elect to pay additional contributions in order to avoid a loss of service. The cost is 16% of the lost pay and the member must apply within 30 days of returning to work after a period of strike action. There is no provision in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme regulations for members to ‘buy back’ strike days. Please notify the University’s Pensions Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to buy back a period of strike action.
What happens if I voted no in the ballot?
Whether you voted yes or no in the ballot, it is entirely your choice whether you want to take strike action. Taking strike action is a breach of your contract of employment, so it is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Taking strike action may also damage the excellent service we provide to our students at a time when they should be able to rely on that service. If you decide not to take strike action, the University will do all that it can to assist you in exercising your right to attend your workplace.
How long will industrial action last?
Currently one day is anticipated, Thursday 10 May, which will involve a range of public sector trade unions
I voted to strike but now I have changed my mind, does that mean I still have to go on strike?Voting for strike action does not mean you have to take strike action.
I am against strike action and voted no in the ballot. However I am concerned that I will then have to cross a picket line when any strike action starts. This concerns me. I am also worried that I may be pressurised by colleagues who support the action and that I may be victimised after for crossing the picket line.Any industrial action can be damaging to an employer and can have an adverse affect on staff who want to attend work. There are legal standards for the conduct of picket lines and the numbers allowed at any one building. This is usually no greater than six. The legal code of practice on picket lines also deals with the way participants on a picket line should behave and conduct themselves. The University will be reminding the trade unions of the code of conduct and will expect them to adhere to the code in full. The University will do everything it can for staff who wish to attend work on any day of strike action. Trade union representatives and members who participate on picket lines are first and foremost employees of the University, and the expectation is that they should conduct themselves with regard to the University’s policies and procedures.
Additionally, trade union members are not allowed to victimise work colleagues for crossing a picket line and any member of staff who feels they are being victimised in any way should contact their HR Advisor. HR will be available on the day for advice and guidance.Our experience in the past has been that our local trade unions follow the picketing laws and we do not experience difficult situations
I have a holiday booked on the day of action, will you think that I am on strike?
All holidays that have been booked before 3 May will be honoured and your pay will not be withheld for that date. No applications for leave on the day of action will be accepted after this date. If you are absent on that day and have not pre booked a holiday before that date you will have your pay withheld.
What if I am sick on the day of action?
Unless you are already known to be on sick leave, regrettably we will withhold your pay for that day until you can provide written evidence from your doctor that you have been ill.
I am on maternity/paternity leave on the day of action. Will my pay be withheld?
No, providing you have confirmed to HR and Payroll through the normal channels that this is the case, unless you wish to support the strike action in which case you should declare your support to HR requesting your pay to be deducted.
I want to work from home on the day of action.
No requests to work at home will be accepted for 10 May. Staff attending external events such as conferences will be required to confirm their attendance at the event. Anyone who does not follow this process will be deemed to be taking strike action and will have their pay withheld.
What if I don't want to cross a picket line but am not taking strike action?
Unless you enter the buildings open on the day of action you will not be paid. This may require you to cross a picket line. No action other than deduction of pay will be taken.
I have an important meeting/interview scheduled on the day of the strike. What happens if I go on strike on a day when this meeting/interview should be taking place?
As an individual who has a scheduled meeting/interview on a planned day of strike action you would have to think carefully about how taking part in strike action would affect your ability to attend an interview or meeting. Not all staff are in a trade union and therefore would not have been called upon to take part in industrial action. Postponing meetings/interviews because some of the attendees cannot attend due to strike action would not be fair on the people who choose not to strike or are not members of a trade union and haven’t been called upon to participate in the strike.