BREAKING: UCU members to strike next week at University of Leeds

Staff at the University of Leeds will take three consecutive days of strike action next week in a dispute over changes to the university’s dismissal policies.

The strike, which will take place from Wednesday 11 to Friday 13 October, follows the university’s decision to amend its employment statute. The university wants to introduce a new catch-all power which would allow employees to be dismissed for ‘Some Other Substantial Reason’.

UCU has dubbed this a ‘sackers’ charter’, saying it would affect staff terms and conditions and worsen long standing employment protections.

In a ballot of UCU members, two-thirds (67%) of those who voted backed strike action.

UCU Leeds branch president Vicky Blake said: “The University of Leeds is insisting on an open ended catch-all power to dismiss staff on the grounds of ‘Some Other Substantial Reason’, posing a serious threat to our member’s job security.

“We believe the change could enable 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.

“Strike action is always a last resort but the university needs to urgently reconsider these damaging changes if it is to maintain the confidence of its staff.”

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