Industrial action at the University of Aberdeen suspended

26 June 2015 | last updated: 29 July 2016

UCU Scotland has today called off industrial action at the University of Aberdeen after management agreed to recommend against compulsory redundancies at the next meeting of the university governing body.

Staff at the university were due to take strike action on Wednesday 1 July and Monday 6 July in protest against the university's proposal to cut 150 jobs as part of a £10 million savings plan.

However, following negotiations with UCU, the university management has now agreed to make a revised proposal to the University Court on 30 June. This would include extending the voluntary redundancy scheme until 10 November 2015 and avoiding compulsory redundancies during this period.

'We're delighted that the university has worked with us to find a way to withdraw the threat of compulsory redundancies and that management will instead look to find savings from voluntary redundancies and natural staff turnover.'
Dr Andrew Mackillop, Aberdeen UCU
Commenting on the development, local UCU representative Dr Andrew Mackillop said: 'We're delighted that the university has worked with us to find a way to withdraw the threat of compulsory redundancies and that management will instead look to find savings from voluntary redundancies and natural staff turnover. The union will suspend the planned industrial action including the two day-long strikes. We will continue to work with the university in the coming months to seek alternative savings and allow staff to focus on their teaching and research rather than worrying about their jobs.
 
Mary Senior, UCU Scotland Official, added: 'I have no doubt that the hard work of local UCU negotiators, our campaigning and the strong ballot result from union members has been instrumental in the employer's decision to change its proposed approach on job cuts. We can now move forward more constructively with the employer to focus on ensuring that the University of Aberdeen continues to be one of the best in the world.
 
Professor Jeremy Kilburn, Senior Vice-Principal of the University of Aberdeen said: 'We are pleased that the dialogue with the UCU has been constructive. If the proposal we are putting to Court is passed the management will no longer seek a mandate from the University Court for a programme of compulsory redundancies and instead, recommend the University Court approve an extension of the current Voluntary Severance and Early Retirement Scheme to 10 November 2015. We remain committed to realising the ambition of our Strategic Plan to grow our position as one of the world's leading universities and we look forward to working together to achieve this shared vision.

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