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UCLan strikes cancelled as university agrees to conciliation talks

17 March 2014 | last updated: 10 December 2015

UCU has agreed to suspend strike action planned for today (Monday) and Tuesday 18 March at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) following an agreement by the university to enter into conciliation talks with UCU about proposed changes to staff terms and conditions, as well as the decision not to proceed with any compulsory redundancies.

UCU and UCLan have issued a joint statement in response to this latest development:

Joint statement by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and the University and College Union (UCU)

At a meeting between officials from UCLan and the UCU, agreement was reached to call off planned strike action on Monday 17 March and Tuesday 18March.

Although strike action has been avoided the dispute has not been fully resolved. ACAS will now support both parties through conciliation in negotiating an agreed outcome, although this will not be via a formal arbitration process.

Commenting on the decision UCLan Vice-Chancellor, Professor Gerry Kelleher said: 'This has been a difficult time for all parties concerned but crucially we have achieved our cost reduction targets without the need for compulsory redundancies. This was our stated aim from the outset. 

'Although the dispute is not yet fully resolved, this development means we can now continue to concentrate on what this University does best: helping students from all backgrounds to reach their true potential while providing an educational experience which meets and exceeds expectations. All staff play a crucial role in these aims and we will continue to invest in their development in a manner that is consistent with our status as a national employer of choice.'

Martyn Moss, UCU Regional Official, added: 'UCU is pleased that the threat of compulsory redundancies for academic staff has been lifted. We also welcome the chance to discuss outstanding issues in relation to proposed changes to the local agreement on pay and grading, with the support of the independent conciliation service ACAS.'

Additional notes

At the meeting it was agreed:

  • to engage in discussions, facilitated by ACAS, with the aim of resolving the UCLan proposal for Associate Lecturers and Principal Lecturers to accept line management responsibilities
  • discussions on revised job descriptions and career paths will be postponed for at least the current academic year
  • money deducted from staff taking strike action will be given to the Student Hardship Fund (apart from the disputed deductions for the two-hour strikes which is related to the current national action). 

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