Brighton lecturers to walk out at lunchtime

UCU BrightonStaff at the University of Brighton are set to walk out from 1pm in a dispute over job losses, plans to limit promotions and downgrade teaching staff. 

The UCU members will also begin working to contract from tomorrow. A further two days of strike action are planned for Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 April if no resolution is reached in the coming weeks.

Members strongly backed industrial action in a ballot last month, with three-quarters of those who voted (77%) voting for strike action and 85% supporting action short of a strike, including working to contract. The union said that strike action was always a last resort, but that the university’s actions were an insult to staff and a threat to students’ education.

The dispute has arisen after the university breached longstanding agreements negotiated with UCU about the working conditions of all academic staff. The union said that the multiple and persistent nature of these breaches threatened the status of the UCU as the union that is recognised to negotiate on behalf of academic staff at the University of Brighton.

UCU regional official Michael Moran said: ‘Staff are walking out in protest at the university’s plan to downgrade teaching staff, make others redundant, and refuse promotion opportunities. These plans are an insult to staff at the University of Brighton and a serious threat to the quality of education on offer at the institution.

“By repeatedly ignoring agreed procedures for changing working conditions, the university has also shown a blatant disregard for its employees and the union which represents them. Strike action is always a last resort, but in the face of such sweeping changes staff feel they have little choice. We urge the university to sit down with us and explore alternatives to these damaging plans.”

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