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Belfast AUT

Produced by Belfast Association of University Teachers Issue No 6 May 1999

Strike Details

This is a 24 hour strike from midnight to midnight. We are calling all the members who were balloted to support the strike. They should not undertake any duties scheduled for that period by their department, unit or university. Some duties, such as examinations, may be rescheduled and you can perform these on another date, but the basic principle is that in total a day's work is lost. To lessen the impact on students preparing for exams you should indicate when you will be available to see them after 25th May. The only duties that may be undertaken on 25th May are those concerned with health and safety, including the feeding of animals, and then only if nobody else can do it. The only other exception are members on sick leave, maternity or family responsibility leave, or on pre-arranged holiday. We are supporting the President of the Students' Union in his request that deducted salaries be paid into the student hardship fund. Members have asked advice concerning the Wiles Lectures which begins on the day of action. The local committee of AUT view this as a cultural event rather than a normal university activity. During the last strike the decision was made not to interfere with Belfast Festival events for this reason. Therefore members may, if they wish, attend this event without breaching the industrial action.

Picketing on 25th May

It would be helpful if pickets could pick up their armbands and materials from the AUT office at lunch-time on Monday. The AUT office is on the first floor of the staircase next to the Senate Room in the main quadrangle. Alternatively you should report to the main gate on the day and you will be told where you are needed. We have notified the police and there should be no problems, but they could limit the number of pickets to six at a location. The purpose of the picket is to peacefully hand out leaflets. You should calmly explain the background of the action and invite people to attend the lunch-time rally. You should not obstruct anybody, although many delivery vehicles will turn back at an official picket line. The mobile phone number for use on the day is 0790 171 5319. Do not park in university carparks, but seek a refund of the charges for that day.

Lunch-time Rally

All members, especially those whom we have not called out on strike, should attend the rally outside the Students' Union at 1 p.m. If wet it will be in the Fitzwilliam room. We will be joined by AUT colleagues from the Open University in Belfast and by representatives of the other trade unions at Queen's. The main speaker will be Alan Carr, the National President-Elect. He will be supported by the local AUT leadership and messages of support from the other trade unions and the President of the Students' Union.

Other Action

As outlined in our previous Newsletter there is to be a continuing campaign of disruptive action, but the dates of some elements were yet to be decided. On 1st, 4th, 11th, and 18th June members should take no part whatsoever in the exams system. This covers the full range of stages in examinations and assessed course-work including informal and formal meetings of examination boards. It is intended to delay and disrupt, but exam results should appear eventually. The dates for the admission action will be fixed after we take stock at our Annual General Meeting on 23rd June.

National campaign - e-mail your employer and let him know what you think!

Paul Hudson