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Staff to be balloted for strike action at Middlesex University in jobs row

22 August 2011 | last updated: 11 December 2015

300 jobs at risk, despite university's high fees for 2012

Members of UCU at Middlesex University will be balloted for strike action in a row over jobs. The union has today informed the university that its members will be asked to vote for the industrial action in a ballot that will open next Tuesday (30 August). The result is expected on Wednesday 21 September.
The university wants to introduce cost-cutting measures that will result in up to 300 redundancies, with half of the savings to be found by cuts to academic staff. The union said the job losses would have a devastating effect on provision and risked doing lasting damage to the institution's academic reputation.
According to the Office For Fair Access, Middlesex University will charge some of the highest tuition fees in the UK (£8,602, after financial support is taken into account) when the new fees regime comes into place in 2012.
UCU regional official, Andy Young, said: 'Middlesex University will charge some of the highest tuition fees in the UK next year and we do not see the need for making such large scale redundancies at this time. This is not the way to attract students to a university.'
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'Industrial action is always a last resort, but a strike is on the cards if the university refuses to withdraw its threat of compulsory job losses. At a time when students and their families start to expect more bang for the extra bucks they are being forced to shell out for higher education, universities should be doing all they can to improve quality and their reputation - not axing staff.'