Strike ballot at Manchester Metropolitan University

5 April 2017 | last updated: 24 April 2017

UCU members at Manchester Metropolitan University are to be balloted for industrial action at both the Manchester and Crewe campuses in a row over compulsory redundancies as a result of the closure of the Crewe site.

Members will be asked if they are prepared to take strike action. The ballot opens tomorrow and closes on Monday 8 May.

The union says it has been forced to ballot members for strike action after the university has consistently frustrated efforts to try and resolve the dispute that centres on the future of over 160 academic staff based at the south Cheshire site.

UCU says that the university's representatives have appeared to be willing to work towards compromises in meetings and then managers renege on promises just hours later. The union says the final straw came last month when the university rejected a proposal to postpone redundancies scheduled for this summer to allow both sides time to consider redeployment options and severance packages.

The university has almost £400m* in reserves and UCU says it sees no rationale for refusing to pause on this summer's job losses or ruling out compulsory redundancies. The university confirmed on 10 February that the Crewe campus will close in August 2019 after the current courses based there finish.

UCU regional official Martyn Moss said: 'It's a scandal that the university is prepared to throw years of academic talent and experience on the scrapheap without proper consideration of alternatives. We believe that there needs to be a pause on proposed job losses for this summer as we try and work through the issues.

'We thought that was the university's position as well. Members have had enough of being messed around and feel their only option is to ballot for industrial action - something which is always a last resort. We hope the university will now engage in meaningful negotiations with a desire to resolve the dispute without the need for any strike action.'

*http://www2.mmu.ac.uk/financial-statement/financial-performance/

Comments