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Strike action not ruled out at UCLan as university says another 75 jobs are to go

14 November 2013

UCU announced today that it will fight plans to axe 75 jobs at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). At a packed meeting last night, UCU members vowed to resist any efforts by the university to make compulsory redundancies and would not rule out strike action.

The union said the university had failed to make the case for redundancies and it was enjoying a healthy surplus. In a letter to trade unions, UCLan did not go into much detail about why it was seeking to sack academic staff. The union was told at meeting on Wednesday that the university wants to 'rebalance' the mix of its academic staff.

Getting rid of 75 jobs will actually leave approximately 420 academic staff unsure of their future and at risk of the axe, which the union said is the last thing anyone needs hanging over them in the run up to Christmas. This latest jobs cull announcement is the third from UCLan since July and over 100 jobs are now at risk.

The union said it had concerns that the this latest round of major academic redundancies could result in a 'salami slicing' exercise of senior academic staff to be replaced by cheaper options - something the union said would do nothing for UCLan's aspiration to be a world class institution in teaching and research.

UCU regional official, Martyn Moss, said: 'Over 400 staff now have the fear of job losses hanging over their heads in the run up to Christmas. We will be looking over the redundancy plans very carefully, but the university needs to provide us with more than the management jargon we have heard so far, especially at a time it is recording a healthy surplus.

'If the university is serious about building a reputation for excellence, the last thing it should be doing is getting rid of talented staff and replacing them with cheaper alternatives. UCU members at UCLan have made it clear they will fight any compulsory redundancies and have not ruled out strike action.'

The full motion passed at the UCU members' meeting:

This branch notes that university management has issued formal notice of redundancy for over 75 posts. The branch recognises that this places approximately 420 colleagues in the 'pool' for potential redundancy.

This branch reaffirms its opposition to compulsory redundancies and notes the wording of the standing motion endorsed at the branch meeting on 2 October:

'In the event of any UCU member being placed a risk of compulsory redundancy the branch resolves to launch a campaign of opposition, including seeking authority from the national union to ballot members for industrial action.'

This branch instructs our negotiators to seek meaningful negotiations with the university to explore all options for avoiding any compulsory redundancies and instructs the branch committee to launch a campaign of opposition and to seek authority from the national union to ballot for industrial action as appropriate.

Last updated: 10 December 2015