University of Leeds three-day strike goes ahead

11 October 2017

Staff at the University of Leeds will take three consecutive days of strike action starting tomorrow (Wednesday) in a dispute over changes to the university's dismissal policies.

UCU members will be on picket lines outside entrances to the university from 7:30am, including the main entrance via the Parkinson Steps on Woodhouse Road. In a ballot of UCU members, two-thirds (67%) of those who voted backed strike action.

The strike, which will continue on Thursday and Friday, follows the university's decision to amend its employment statute. The university wants to introduce a new catch-all power which would allow staff to be dismissed for 'Some Other Substantial Reason'.

UCU has dubbed the new power a "sackers' charter" and said it could stop staff from pursuing controversial ideas or lead to them being pressured to withhold unfavourable research findings.

UCU regional official Julie Kelley said: 'UCU members are on strike from tomorrow because the University of Leeds wants to bring in new powers to sack staff under the catch-all title of Some Other Substantial Reason.

'We believe this could allow the university to sack people for all sorts of dubious reasons and may restrict staff from pursuing new ideas or controversial topics within their daily work.

'UCU is also concerned that this sackers' charter could subject staff to third party commercial or political pressure over unpopular research findings, or could even risk staff being sacked for a breakdown in trust with a manager.

'Members have made it clear that they are prepared to take strike action over this issue and the university needs to work with us to avoid further disruption.'

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