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Strike at University of South Wales in jobs row

17 October 2014

UCU members at the University of South Wales will be on strike on Thursday 13 November in a row over job cuts.

Staff will walk out in protest at compulsory redundancies resulting from the closure of the university's centre for community learning. The centre offered a range of courses at community and workplace venues across south Wales*, providing a stepping stone to higher education for people without formal qualifications.

Although some of the courses will continue following the centre's closure, several staff members are being made redundant and the university has refused to redeploy them or improve the terms of severance packages.

UCU members at the institution start working to contract^ next week and will walk out next month if the university does not reconsider its position on redeployment or improved severance packages. The union will be handing out leaflets to students explaining the reasons behind their industrial action.

UCU Wales official, Margaret Phelan, said: 'Striking is always a last resort for members but, faced with the compulsory redundancy of hardworking and committed staff and a failure by university management to properly consider alternative proposals, they have been forced to take action.

'We hope that the university will reconsider its position in the coming weeks and work with us to find a solution so that strike action can be avoided.'

* Courses are delivered in communities and workplaces across south east Wales including university and college campuses as well as community and workplace venues in Newport, Monmouthshire, Caerphilly, Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent.

^ Working to contract means that UCU members employed at the University of South Wales 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.
Last updated: 10 December 2015