Fighting fund banner


Official UCU Picket

Three day strike begins Monday at Falmouth University over 2-tier workforce

14 October 2022

UCU today confirmed staff at Falmouth University will be taking three consecutive days of strike action from Monday 17 October in a long running dispute over management's introduction of a two tier workforce. The university has been employing all new academic staff through a subsidiary company on worse terms and conditions since September 2021.

The full strike days are:

  • Monday 17 October
  • Tuesday 18 October
  • Wednesday 19 October.

Staff will be on picket lines every day of strike action from 8am and a series of teach outs and workshops will also take place.

The strike comes after 90% of members who voted said yes to strike action to protect the terms and conditions of all academic staff at the university.

The dispute centres on Falmouth University's decision to employ all new academic staff through its subsidiary company Falmouth Staffing Ltd (FSL). Staff employed through (FSL) are denied access to the industry standard Teacher's Pension Scheme (TPS) and instead forced onto a vastly inferior private pension. The TPS scheme has employer contributions of 23.6% whereas the FSL scheme starts at only 6%.

Newly-employed academic staff will also lose continuity of service as they move from other post-92 universities, colleges or schools, and when they move on to other university posts. No other university in the South West region is taking this course of action.

Employing staff through FSL is also a threat to hard won national bargaining agreements that unions have built with university employer body, the Universities and Colleges Employers Association.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'Staff at Falmouth University are striking because management has insisted on using a wholly owned subsidiary company to employ new staff. It is completely unacceptable that management is shunting new academic staff onto contracts with worse terms and conditions and a vastly inferior pension scheme than their colleagues. This is not only bad for new staff, it is also bad for existing staff who see the university trying to worm its way out of hard won terms and conditions, and it is bad for students as Falmouth will struggle to attract people who can get jobs elsewhere with better conditions.

'Crucially, if Falmouth gets away with this, it will also be bad for the sector as we run the risk of terms and conditions being degraded elsewhere. The university needs to abandon these plans if it wants to avoid further disruption.'

Last updated: 14 October 2022