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Members back strike action at University of South Wales

1 June 2015

Members of UCU at the University of South Wales's Newport City and Caerleon campuses* have voted for industrial action in a long-running dispute over course closures and redundancies.

Over three-quarters (77%) of staff who voted backed strike action over the university's decision to close its art foundation course in July and make four staff redundant. Union members will meet tomorrow to decide if and when to take action.

The union says it wants the university to come back to the negotiating table to explore redeployment options or severance schemes for the four staff affected. The university originally hoped local college Coleg Gwent would take on the course, however the college pointed out that it already runs a similar course.

Axing the art foundation course was part university plans to close the Caerleon campus at the end of the academic year in 2016. Around 300 staff will be leaving the Caerleon campus when it shuts next summer, but they will be moved to one of the university's other campuses in Newport City Centre, Cardiff or Treforest. 

UCU Wales official, Margaret Phelan, said: 'Closing this course will leave the people of Newport without a vital learning opportunity - which is more bad news for a region already suffering cuts to education.

'The ballot result demonstrates members' support for their colleagues in fighting this decision. Strike action is always a last resort and we remain open to negotiations. However, the university needs to work with us to find a better solution for the affected staff.'

*The university's Cardiff and Treforest campuses will be unaffected by the action.

Last updated: 10 December 2015