University of Stirling faces more strike action in jobs row

23 March 2011 | last updated: 11 December 2015

The University of Stirling faces more strike action after its decision-making body, the Court, agreed a move to make 17 members of staff in its institute of aquaculture compulsorily redundant.

The University and College Union (UCU) said the Court members did not adequately consider alternative options put forward by the union and that the university has again failed to complete constructive consultation with the union before making the decision to axe staff.

The union believes the institute of aquaculture is being targeted because it does not provide a surplus on the university's internal budgetary process. However, UCU argues that the budgetary system is not a fair way to evaluate the institute because is mainly research-based. Further, the university proposals will leave the institute with a larger deficit than was likely to be the case had union proposals been implemented.

Tomorrow (Thursday) the university faces a second day of strike action in as many weeks as UCU members across the UK walk out in a row over pensions and pay. The University of Stirling may now face protracted disruption as the union is balloting members there for more strike action over the job losses.

Staff at Stirling will be on the picket lines from 8am at the hill foots and main entrances off the A9. Staff will then make their way to the Albert Halls for a rally at 11am, where they will hear from the President Elect of UCU Scotland and other speakers.

Action is also taking place at most Scottish universities with rallies in Glasgow and Aberdeen.

UCU Scottish official, Mary Senior, said: "We oppose compulsory redundancies at the University of Stirling and are astounded that such a unique institute so vital to Scotland's economy is being cut. This is a classic example of a university knowing the price of everything but the value of very little. Although the institute doesn't fit in to the obscure planning budgets of the university, it is vital to our and fish farming industry.

"The university court has rubber-stamped a management decision without adequate consideration of the issues and, in doing so, exposed the worrying lack of accountability many institutions still have in their decision-making bodies. We oppose compulsory redundancies and we are now balloting our members at Stirling over more industrial action.

"We saw action over pensions and jobs last Thursday and again tomorrow UCU members from across Scotland will be on the picket lines again sending a clear message to the employers to keep their hands off our pensions and to stop compulsory redundancies."

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