Aberdeen University staff back strike action in dispute over job losses

6 January 2016 | last updated: 4 February 2016

Staff at Aberdeen University have voted again for industrial action in a row over job losses.

Three-quarters (74%) of UCU members who voted backed strike action and four out of five (79%) said they were prepared to take action short of a strike, which could include things such as working only their contracted hours or refusing to set and mark additional work. 

The increasingly bitter dispute centres on the university's refusal to rule out compulsory redundancies, despite making savings of around £8 million. Strike action was averted last year when a similar percentage of staff (73%) backed strike action in a ballot in June and the university rowed back from plans to force through compulsory job losses.

Despite finding savings of around £8 million the university has once again refused to rule out compulsory redundancies, which the union said left it with no choice but to ballot again for industrial action.

The local UCU branch will now meet to decide what action to take. In the meantime the union has called on university managers to bring to an end the prolonged uncertainty over job security at the university.

Andrew MacKillop, Aberdeen UCU representative, said: 'This is the second time Aberdeen UCU members have made their willingness to take industrial action crystal clear. The level of support for taking action shows the strength of feeling amongst staff and the ball is now in the managers' court. All the members are asking for is substantive assurances about protecting jobs and ensuring no one starts 2016 with the threat of compulsory redundancy hanging over them.'