University students in Preston were suffering their second day of disruption today with hundreds of lecturers on strike over job cuts.
The 48-hour action - the latest in a series of walkouts by disgruntled academic staff at the University of Central Lancashire - sparked the cancellation of scores of lectures yesterday and was expected to cause the same upheavel today.
“Disruption to students is something we regret,” said Martyn Moss, regional officer for the University and College Union. “But that is down to the university, not our members.
“We would prefer not to be involved in strike action. But this is a last resort. UCLan have refused to sit round the table with the arbitration service ACAS to resolve this.”
Lecturers took to the picket line yesterday and many more attended a lunchtim rally outside the university. Many students turning up for lectures found the sessions had been scrapped. But there were conflicting reports about the effectiveness of the action with the university not expecting a significant impact.
A UCLan spokesman said: “From the figures we have been given, UCU has 636 members at the university out of around 1,200 academic staff. We were told 275 of those 636 said they wanted to go on strike, so the maths is simple. Less than a quarter supported this action. So for UCU to take industrial action with that mandate is very disappointing.”
But Martyn Moss said: “The strike has been very well supported. As far as we can tell many lectures are not being held. Regardless of what the university says, the strike is supported by the majority of our members.”
Currently 52 posts are to be axed, down from 70 initially. UCLan believe these cuts can be achieved voluntarily.