Progress on punitive deductions

During the 2014 pay dispute the vast majority of institutions correctly deducted two hour's pay for each two-hour strike. However, some institutions took a punitive approach and deducted either a full or half day's pay for each two-hour strike.

We promised to pursue a number of avenues to recoup the losses.

Originally, we were informed that 36 employers had threatened a draconian line. However, following negotiations the number that implemented punitive deductions dropped to 26.

We are pleased to report that in addition the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has now agreed to recompense those who were deducted pay in excess of two hours.

The branch has issued the following statement, 'The UCLan UCU branch committee warmly welcomes the offer by the vice chancellor to make a compensation payment to members who were docked a full day's wages for each of the two-hour strikes which took place during last year's national HE pay dispute. The resolution of this matter will remove a major impediment to the rebuilding of trust and confidence between the union and university management following a prolonged period of troubled industrial relations at the university.

We recognise that this gesture - one of a number of positive developments initiated by the VC - signals a commitment on the part of the new Management team to work with UCU to address the challenges facing the university and the union looks forward likewise to working with management in a spirit of constructive engagement to the benefit of our members and in the interests of the university as a whole.'

In Northern Ireland, we have outstanding litigation on this matter against Queen's University, Belfast, and our lawyers are currently preparing similar litigation against a Scottish university.  We are also reviewing the remaining English universities where punitive pay docking took place in 2014 with a view to bring litigation against them. We hope this continued legal strategy will bring resolutions in those universities where agreement has not been reached.  

Last updated: 20 May 2016