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Vote for strike action at University of Central Lancashire

5 March 2021

UCU members at the University of Central Lancashire have this week voted to take strike action in a row over job losses.

79% of members who voted supported strike action, with 88% backing action short of a strike, which could involve refusals to do unpaid overtime. The university wants to sack six members of teaching staff in the Faculty of Culture and Creative Industries as part of a wider culling of jobs across the university. The university proposed axing 67 jobs altogether, despite 200 staff having already accepted voluntary redundancy over the past 18 months.  

The university claims it needs to make the cuts because of budget deficits and student recruitment, yet it has cash reserves of £100m and has allocated £44m for new buildings this year. Student enrolment across the university has increased by more than 7% between 2017/18 and 2019/20. UCU has also seen information showing a further 5% increase between 2019/20 and 2020/21. 

UCU said the ballot result was a ringing endorsement for action, but that it hoped the situation could be resolved without the need for disruption.  

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'UCU members at the University of Central Lancashire have made it very clear they are prepared to take industrial action to protect jobs in the Faculty of Culture and Creative Industries.  

'The university needs to halt these cuts. It has already cut hundreds of staff over the past 18 months whilst seeing an increase in student numbers, and it talks about budget deficits whilst holding cash reserves of £100m and embarking on new building projects costing tens of millions of pounds. To destroy the livelihoods of staff who have kept the University going during the Covid pandemic is spiteful and unnecessary. 

'We now have a clear mandate for action, and we hope the university halts the compulsory redundancies to prevent any further damage to its reputation.'

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