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Liverpool Fight For Health Jobs

Five days of strikes at University of Liverpool

27 September 2021

Staff at the University of Liverpool are set to walk out for five consecutive days from Monday 4 October unless management halts plans to sack two staff. The week-long strike will cause severe disruption to the first full week of teaching at the university.

This action is the latest in a long running dispute over job cuts in the faculty of health and life sciences. In a ballot earlier this year, 84% of UCU members who voted backed strike action to fight the university's plans to slash 47 teaching and research jobs in the faculty of health and life sciences. This has now fallen to two compulsory redundancies after six months of industrial action, including 24 days of strikes by staff.

Management has now begun the process of sacking the two remaining staff threatened with dismissal and has told UCU it believes that dispute resolution is 'effectively ended' . The union is calling on the university to get round the negotiating table to avoid disruption to the first week of term. The university is also still under an international academic boycott.

University of Liverpool's student body, the Guild of Students, has supported staff throughout the industrial action and has called on management to halt the cuts and end the disruption.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'University of Liverpool vice-chancellor Janet Beer has forced staff to take 24 days of strike action in defence of jobs in a dispute that has now entered its sixth month. Thanks to our industrial action, the university has stepped back from sacking almost all of the 47 staff originally at risk. Janet now needs to halt plans to sack the final two members who are still being threatened with compulsory redundancy and finally resolve this dispute. Otherwise, the university will be hit with wholesale disruption in its first full week of teaching.'

University of Liverpool UCU president Peta Bulmer said: 'Staff and students at the University of Liverpool have consistently demanded these staff are not sacked and there is no financial need to sack them. The employer can avert the chaos of strike action by listening to staff and students and halting these cuts.

'Management at the university has caused students and staff a great deal of stress by refusing to end this dispute. There are only two staff left to save and we are calling on the vice-chancellor to reach an agreement so students do not see disruption to their first full week of lessons this academic year.'

Last updated: 28 September 2021