Staff at University of Brighton to strike over demotions and redundancies

Staff at the University of Brighton will walk out from 1pm next Friday (31 March) in a dispute over plans to limit promotions, downgrade teaching staff and make others redundant.

Members of UCU at the university will also begin working to contract from next Friday, and senior lecturers will not do any work which is wholly that of a principal lecturer. A further two days of strike action are planned for Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 April if no resolution is reached in the coming weeks.

The dispute has arisen after the university breached longstanding agreements negotiated with the UCU about the working conditions of all academic staff. The union said that the multiple and persistent nature of these breaches threatens the status of the UCU as the union recognised to negotiate on behalf of academic staff at the University of Brighton.

Members strongly backed industrial action in a ballot last month, with three-quarters (77%) voting for strike action and 85% backing action short of a strike.

UCU regional official, Michael Moran, said: 'The university's plan to downgrade teaching staff, make others redundant, and refuse promotion opportunities is an insult to hardworking staff and a serious threat to the quality of education on offer. By repeatedly ignoring agreed procedures for changing working conditions, the university has also shown a blatant disregard for its employees and the union which represents them.

'Strike action is always a last resort, but in the face of such sweeping changes staff feel they have little choice. We urge the university to sit down with UCU and explore alternatives to these damaging plans.'