UCU Strikes Jargon Busters

UCU: University and College Union – a trade union representing staff across UK higher and further education institutions. Find out more about UCU on their website here. You can also find out more information on the local branch of UCU at the University of Exeter here.

Industrial Action: Industrial action takes place when negotiations between employers and members of a trade union, such as UCU, fail to resolve a dispute or reach an agreed solution. Industrial action can take the form of strike action or action or short of a strike.

Strike Action: an organised stoppage of work for a period of time.

Action short of a strike
: where workers take action such as refusing to cover for absent staff, not rescheduling lectures impacted by strike action, not providing additional materials, refusing to work overtime, etc.

Picket line:
a picket line refers to a form of protest taking the shape of a physical boundary created by those involved in industrial action and are typically located at the entrances of workplaces. They can take on many different forms, with some participating in a picket line by holding signs, bringing music, performing, or informing passers-by of the reasons for the picket line

USS: Universities Superannuation Scheme – the principal pension scheme provided by higher education institutions.

Universities and Colleges Employers Association- the representative body for universities and higher education colleges in national negotiations with the five sector trade unions, government bodies, funding councils and other stakeholders

OIA/OIAHE: Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education