Strike action ballot opens at University of Salford in row over sackings

5 March 2015 | last updated: 10 December 2015

Two union members who opposed restructure were put on forced gardening leave, sacked and refused any appeal

Members of UCU at the University of Salford are being balloted for strike action in protest at the sacking of two union members. The ballot closes on Friday 27 March.
 
Two members of staff, who are also members of UCU and had raised grievances against the university in the past, were placed on forced gardening leave the day before a new restructure was announced. Their contracts of employment were then terminated.
 
UCU said the treatment of the individuals, who work in the School of Marketing and Student Recruitment, flew in the face of agreed procedures on how the university should carry out redundancies.
 
The pair were not given the opportunity to be part of a redundancy selection pool, were not consulted on how their redundancies could be avoided and were not allowed to appeal against their job losses.
 
The union believes the employees may have been targeted as a result of their role in the union where one of them took the role of local representative. Despite axing both members of staff, apparently as a cost-cutting exercise, new posts have since been advertised internally in their department.
 
UCU regional official, Martyn Moss, said: 'We are very concerned that the two members of staff who were sacked were also union members, and had raised concerns about a restructure at the university. We urge our members at the University of Salford to show support for their colleagues and send a clear message to the university that it cannot treat staff and their union reps in such a contemptuous manner.
 
'In the meantime we remain hopeful that talks to settle this dispute through conciliation experts ACAS will lead to an early settlement without the need for industrial or legal action.'

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