Strike date set at University of Sussex
Members of UCU at the University of Sussex have today announced that they will be out on strike on Thursday 18 March.
At a packed emergency general meeting, members unanimously passed a motion that called for the strike action in response to the university's refusal to agree to talks or remove the threat of compulsory redundancies.
The union also confirmed that there will be lobby of a university senate meeting on Wednesday 17 March. The senate was originally due to meet on Friday 5 March to discuss putting the university's plans to axe jobs on hold. However, after a ballot of UCU members was declared overwhelmingly in favour of strike action on Wednesday 3 March, the meeting was postponed.
Full details of the lobby and strike will be announced later this week. Although the union made it clear today that it still hoped to reach a negotiated settlement on the issue of 115 job losses. Immediately after the meeting, the students' union reiterated its support for the union's actions.
UCU Sussex representative, Paul Cecil said: 'Industrial action is an absolute last resort, but the university's unwillingness to enter into meaningful negotiations, even through the conciliatory service ACAS, has forced our hand. The bottom line is that serious job losses will impact massively on the quality of education and services we can offer here at Sussex, which will result in a far worse experience for students.'
Tom Wills, University of Sussex Students' Union (USSU) president, said: 'We are right behind Sussex staff and the principled stand they are taking in defence of their jobs and our education. We understand that strike action by staff may be the key to winning this battle and we will do everything we can to support it. We will hold university management responsible for disruption to our education resulting from the strike - but moreover we will hold management responsible for the devastation that will be wrought on our education if they succeed in pushing through their cuts proposals.'
The full motion on strike action passed at the meeting:
'This branch resolves to take industrial action in the form of a one-day strike on Thursday 18 March in response to the refusal by management to (i) accept mediation by ACAS and (ii) to remove the threat of compulsory redundancies. The branch further resolves to take industrial action, in the form a strike action or action short of a strike in the summer term, with details to be announced following a further general meeting.'