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Guidance to members during industrial dispute from another TU

Guidance for another trade union being in dispute

It is in everyone's interests not to undermine the legitimate industrial action of any other Trade Union. 

All TSSA members who are not themselves involved in strike action are encouraged to follow the advice below.

  • You should not volunteer to undertake any duties outside of your job description and contract of employment.
  • As per your contractual requirements, All TSSA members are advised that they should make every endeavour to report for duty as usual.
  • Any transport difficulties preventing members from getting to work should be reported to your employer with a minimum of delay. Where necessary, members should use whatever means of public transport are available.
  • When at work, TSSA members are strongly advised to carry out their regular duties but should not volunteer to work extended hours arising directly out of or due to an industrial dispute.
  • Members are advised not to agree to undertake any duties that could not be regarded as part of their job description and/or have not in the past been undertaken by them in their current post.
  • Members should not (at any time) during the dispute act in breach of their Contracts of Employment and should carry out their regular duties in line with that stated above.

*Note The above does not apply to regular rostered overtime and applies only to additional duties occasioned by the dispute.

Members should not agree to undertake any additional duties where there is any doubt about their competence concerning safety matters.

Members will appreciate the danger of liability in the event of an accident or other breach of safety. In the event that any management seeks the agreement of, or instructs, staff with the appropriate background to undertake duties usually performed by members of another union, this must be reported immediately to the TSSA.

This advice applies to circumstances whether or not the individual judges that they are competent to undertake the duties in question.

We would reiterate that our members should only work their usual roster, including any regular rostered overtime, and should not volunteer to work any additional hours arising from an industrial dispute.

TSSA may not lawfully encourage members to take part in secondary industrial action. Members may, however, choose as a matter of individual conscience not to cross another union's picket line. Members who so choose should be aware that such action is likely to put them in breach of contract and may result in their employer taking disciplinary action against them (including dismissal).

TSSA will provide full advice, support and representation to any member facing disciplinary action in such circumstances. 

If you have any questions or feel that you are being asked to do work that you consider outside your regular duties, please contact the Helpdesk for guidance on 0800 328 2673. 

This guidance is available in a downloadable document also.

TSSA guidance during other TUs industrial dispute

TSSA guidance to members during industrial dispute from another TU



TSSA Helpdesk

0800 328 2673 United Kingdom

1800 805 272 Republic of Ireland

Helpdesk Enquiry Form

Member advice from our Helpdesk

If you are a TSSA member and are looking for advice or assistance in connection with your employment or membership, you can contact our Members’ Helpdesk.

We can advise on a range of workplace issues including; discipline and grievance hearing, maternity rights and redundancy.

Helpdesk opening hours: 09:00 - 17:00 Monday - Thursday  |  09:00 - 16:00 Friday

Please note: we cannot undertake to provide advice to non-members, to members of other unions, or to members on behalf of their partners/friends. If you are not yet a member, please join TSSA online.