UCLan lecturers to strike over plan to axe jobs

Strike: UCLan lecturers are planning a two-day strike over proposals to reduce the number of academic posts
Strike: UCLan lecturers are planning a two-day strike over proposals to reduce the number of academic posts
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University lecturers in Preston are planning a two-day strike next week over plans to slash academic posts.

Members of the University and College Union at the University of Central Lancashire take strike action on Thursday and Friday (March 6 and 7).

The action has been called as part of a row of job cuts, which had originally involved the potential axing of more than 70 posts.

That has now been slashed but university bosses are still considering plans which will see 52 posts axed.

The union says it hopes the strong support for more industrial unrest will prompt the university to work with the union and”resolve the current impasse.”

The strike is the latest in a series of walk outs this academic year through three full strike days and a series of two-hour stoppages in a national row over pay.

UCU regional official, Martyn Moss, said: “UCU members at UCLan will be on strike next week 
because they are sick and tired of the shoddy way they are being treated.

“Hundreds of them are at risk of losing their jobs thanks to UCLan’s plans to get rid of experienced senior academic staff and replace them with cheaper options and casual contracts.”

UCU said 81 per cent of members who voted in the strike ballot backed the action.

Mr Moss added: “We have a clear mandate for our industrial action but we hope that the university will sit down with us and try to resolve the dispute.

UCU members have made it clear that they will fight compulsory redundancies and take further strike action to defend their jobs and conditions.”

The union said UCLan had failed to make the case for redundancies.

The union wants the university to withdraw the threat of compulsory redundancies and scrap plans to alter job descriptions for academic staff and create more posts below the agreed grading arrangements for lecturing staff.

A spokesman for UCLan said less than a quarter of the university’s 1,200 academic staff voted to strike.

He added that talks were held this week to “explain the very encouraging progress” made towards reaching savings targets without the need for compulsory redundancies.

He added: “This is why we are so dismayed at this latest news.”

Steps will be taken to ensure students are not disadvantaged as a result of the industrial action.