UCU members announce five strike days in Winchester
Staff at Winchester University are set to walk out for five days at the end of the month if a row over job losses cannot be resolved.
UCU members have announced they will be on strike on Tuesday 28 May, Wednesday 29 May, Monday 3 June, Tuesday 4 June and Wednesday 5 June.
The union has said that, as well as the strikes, its members will also undertake “action short of a strike” from Thursday 30 May. This will involve strictly working to contract, not covering for absences and boycotting open days.
The university has said it wants to get rid of 55 posts – around 10% of the workforce. It has cited increased costs in pensions as a reason for the drastic move*. The union has said the university must avoid knee-jerk reactions to changes in pension costs and rule out compulsory job losses if it wants to avoid disruption.
UCU said its members had made clear their frustrations when they overwhelmingly backed strikes and the action short of a strike in the recent ballot. Four-fifths (80%) of members who voted backed strike action and 93% backed action short of a strike.
Students have expressed their support for staff and held a demonstration last month. The university has also come under fire for its bungled handling of the process, having revealed all the staff at risk of redundancy in an email.
UCU regional official Moray McAulay said: “UCU members at Winchester have made it quite clear that they will not stand by if the university is going to push ahead with these dangerous cuts. There is absolutely no need for this sort of reaction from the university and we hope the looming strike dates will focus the minds of those in charge.
“Nobody wants to see disruption, but staff feel they have been left with no option other than industrial action.”
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