For the second time this academic year, Lancaster University's official strike information page has come under criticism for providing misleading and inaccurate guidance. According to the page on the Student Portal, 'a lawful picket can only include trade union members. For that reason, students and non-union members may not join the picket line.'
The University issued the same advice during the strike in 2019, but during a Q&A event, Lancaster University UCU clarified that students are perfectly entitled to 'visit' the picket line.
Claire Sosienski Smith, the Vice President (Higher Education) for the National Union of Students (NUS) has called out Lancaster University for contradicting the NUS' official picket line guidance: 'Students can join the picket line with staff members to show their support, hold signs, talk to staff and students.'
Phil Dickens, a member of the PCS trade union's national executive (which represents civil and public servants), also replied to the University's guidance:
Picketing is not industrial action, it's a targeted protest to highlight IA and discourage workers from breaking it. The "rules" of picketing are just the Public Order Act. Basically: unless police ask you to disperse, you're sound. (And if they do, strength in numbers applies.) Is there an actual legal reason a student (or anyone) can't stand in front of a workplace entrance, speak to those using that entrance, or say they should honour the strike? Nope.
It would appear that this is just another in a long list of lies being told by union-busting Bradley's senior management team.