Lecturers at Dundee University begin work to contract in row over job losses

26 June 2014 | last updated: 10 December 2015

Lecturers at Dundee University will tomorrow begin working to contract in an escalation of their dispute with the university over plans to cut 120 jobs.

The action* means that members of UCU at the university will only work their contracted hours, perform no extra voluntary duties (such as out of hours cover, or covering for colleagues) and only set and mark work they are obliged to.

The union had agreed to a voluntary severance scheme, but the university has pushed ahead with rushed plans for targeted job losses. In the ballot for industrial action held earlier this month 84% of staff who voted backed working to contract.

Janice Aitken, Dundee UCU spokesperson, said: 'Like all universities, Dundee relies on the goodwill of staff going above and beyond what they are contracted to do. The fact that such a high proportion of members voted for this action shows the strength of feeling against the proposed job losses.

'We still believe that a negotiated solution is still possible and want the university to withdraw the threat of compulsory redundancies and come back to the negotiating table.'


* Working to contract means that UCU members employed at the University of Dundee will:

  • work no more than their contracted hours where those hours are expressly stated, or where they are stipulated in a workload agreement and in any event not to exceed the maximum number of hours per week stipulated in the Working Time Regulations (48 hours a week)
  • perform no additional voluntary duties, such as out of hours cover, or covering for colleagues (unless such cover is contractually required)
  • set and mark no work beyond that work which they are contractually obliged to set and/or mark
  • attend no meetings where such attendance is voluntary on the part of the members
  • undertake no duties that breach health and safety policies or other significant employer's policies.

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