3 March 2014
Strike dates announced at University of Central Lancashire
The union announced today that UCLan staff will take strike action on Thursday and Friday (6 and 7 March) as part of a row in which hundreds of them are at risk of losing their jobs.
The union says it hopes the strong support for more industrial unrest will prompt the university towork with the union and resolve the current impasse. The university has announced plans that would get rid of 52 posts, which leaves up to 400 academic staff at risk of redundancy.
In response, over four-fifths (81%) of members who voted in the strike ballot backed the strike action. The university has already seen staff walk out six times this academic year through three full strike days and a series of two-hour stoppages in a national row over pay.
UCU said UCLan had failed to make the case for redundancies and, financially, is enjoying a healthy surplus. The union wants the university to withdraw the threat of compulsory redundancies and scrap plans to alter job descriptions for academic staff and create more posts below the agreed grading arrangements for lecturing staff.
UCU added that changing job descriptions goes against agreements already in place between the university and the union, and is little more than an attempt to get teaching done on the cheap.
UCLan is also under pressure to reveal the true cost of a series of foreign investments UCU has described as disastrous. A recent report (.pdf) [62kb] details how UCLan’s ‘overseas misadventures’ have received some very high profile critics, which include Amnesty International and UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.
The report asks if the plans to axe over 50 posts and downgrade some teaching posts at the university in the UK are to free up resources for more international investment.
UCU regional official, Martyn Moss, said: ‘UCU members at UCLan will be on strike next week because they are sick and tired of the shoddy way they are being treated. Hundreds of them are at risk of losing their jobs thanks to UCLan’s plans to get rid of experienced senior academic staff and replace them with cheaper options and casual contracts.
‘We have a clear mandate for our industrial action but we hope that the university will sit down with us and try to resolve the dispute. UCU members have made it clear that they will fight compulsory redundancies and take further strike action to defend their jobs and conditions.
‘We have serious concerns about the large sums of money being spent on a series of international investments and want the books to be properly scrutinised. When the UN and Amnesty International are drawing attention to your activities, it is surely time for greater transparency?’
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