Liverpool Hope University will be brought to a standstill as staff go on strike

7 April 2011 | last updated: 11 December 2015

Liverpool Hope University will be brought to standstill tomorrow as members of UCU take strike action as part of their ongoing row over job losses and the institution's response to cuts in funding.

The university has informed students that all lessons will be cancelled in what is another embarrassing episode for the university, just a fortnight after it was revealed that the vice-chancellor, Professor Gerald Pillay, received a pay increase of 21% to take his salary up £199,077 last year. More on that story can be found here: University bosses' pay survey highlights the lack of scrutiny of pay at the top, says union
 
Staff will be on picket lines outside the institution's main entrance on Eden Gate from 7.30am to 11.30am. 
 
Strike action was called last week after the university ignored the advice of the arbitration service ACAS and refused the union's request to extend the timetable during which staff could go on strike, which would have allowed both sides more time to try and negotiate a resolution without strike action.*
 
The union said it did not understand the university's 'put up or shut up' threat to its staff at a time when tensions are running high. UCU said that it is committed to continue talks in an effort to avoid compulsory redundancies and avoid further strike action, but reiterated today that Friday's strike action and cancelled classes are the fault of the university for refusing the union's olive branch.
 
Over 90 jobs are at risk at Liverpool Hope and UCU says the university is acting prematurely in making hasty and deep cuts that go beyond the government's funding reductions for universities.
 
UCU regional official, Martyn Moss, said: 'UCU members here at Liverpool Hope have no faith in how the university is handling its funding problems and will do all it takes to defend their jobs and the education of their students. The fact that Liverpool Hope has been forced to cancel all lessons underlines the strength of feeling here against the cuts.
 
'It is a great shame that things have had to come to this. Had the university agreed to UCU's request to extend the window for potential industrial action we could have focused on trying to resolve the dispute. By refusing the union's olive branch they have left staff with little choice. Swinging the axe so hastily is in no-one's interest.'

Notes

*Trade union legislation requires unions to take action within 28 days of a strike ballot result, but employers have the power to extend this window to allow talks to continue; something Liverpool Hope refused to agree to.

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