Providing interpreting services in universities during the University College Union’s planned industrial action.

By NUBSLI | Published on 25 November 2019

Last updated on April 15th, 2020 at 4:02 pm

Related: boycott

The University College Union (UCU) have planned eight days of strike action for the period 25 – 29 November and 2 – 4 December 2019 and you might be wondering where that leaves you if you are contracted to work there during that time.

Whether you have been contracted to work by the university itself or via an agency, the advice is the same.  Your contract is with them and until they advise you that you have been cancelled, you should attend the assignment as normal.  This is the case even if you have been advised by the student, lecturer, etc., that the scheduled session will not take place.

We understand that this might seem counterintuitive, particularly if you have to travel some distance, but please bear in mind that the aim of industrial action is to be disruptive and interpreters are as likely to be caught up in that as everyone else.  In addition, the strikes could be called off at any time, which is another reason why you are unlikely to be cancelled in advance.

How to support and show your solidarity to UCU members

You could consider taking a few minutes to chat with member on the picket lines, take a leaflet and let them know they have your support.  Do not spend too much time on the picket line as they must stay within permitted numbers to keep within the rules.  You could also consider attending out of working hours rallies, lunchtime protests and meetings.

If you have questions about any of the above, or something we have not covered, please get in touch with the committee at