Furious university staff to strike over sackings of two colleagues

22 April 2015 | last updated: 10 December 2015

Staff at Salford University will go on strike tomorrow in protest at the treatment of two colleagues who were put on forced gardening leave, sacked and refused any appeal.

Three-quarters (75%) of members of the UCU who took part in the ballot, voted to strike over the sackings of the two union members, who worked in the School of Marketing and Student Recruitment.

The pair, who were UCU members, had raised concerns about a restructure. They were placed on forced gardening leave the day before the new restructure was announced. Their contracts of employment were then terminated.

They 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. UCU said the treatment of the individuals flew in the face of agreed procedures on how the university should carry out redundancies.
 
The union believes the employees may have been targeted as a result of their role in the union where one of them took the position 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.

The union has also lodged a complaint on behalf of both members of staff at the employment tribunal.

UCU regional official, Martyn Moss, said: 'The vote in support of the strike shows that staff at Salford find the contemptuous treatment of their colleagues completely unacceptable.

'No institution should be allowed to ride roughshod over agreed procedures and violate its employees' rights in this way.

'In the meantime, UCU is still committed to achieving a negotiated settlement through talks.'

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