University staff lift strike threat after last gasp agreement with UCLan

UCLan staff have lifted their strike threat over redundancies after reaching a last-minute agreement with the university in Preston.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 9:03 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 9:06 am

Industrial action by members of the University and College Union (UCU) was due to begin tomorrow in support of four members of staff whose jobs were at risk due to restructuring.

But after talks the university has said it will suspend its redundancy plan, prompting the union to withdraw its threatened action.

In a joint statement UCLan and UCU said: "Over the past few weeks, the university and UCU have worked jointly to identify solutions for the remaining numbers of academic colleagues who are at risk of compulsory redundancy as a result of the restructuring exercises.

Tomorrow's planned strike will now not take place.

"This joint work has continued to deliver positive outcomes for colleagues, to the extent that the number of roles at risk has been reduced to four, with further discussions to be held over the coming days. The university is confident that the number will reduce still further as a result.

"Given the progress to date, the university and UCU have agreed that the priority is to give ourselves the time to pursue the work on finding individual solutions for those people concerned.

"As a result, UCU has agreed to suspend the planned industrial action and the university has agreed to suspend its formal redundancy selection process, and explore redeployment options for the outstanding roles.

"The university and UCU are committed to remaining in constructive dialogue.

UCU regional official Martyn Moss said: "UCU is pleased the threat of compulsory redundancies has been lifted.

"We remain committed to working constructively with the university to find individual solutions for the staff concerned."

UCU members at UCLan voted by 79 per cent for strike action in support of colleagues in the award-winning Faculty of Culture and Creative Industries.

The ballot was the final straw in what the union saw as a cull of staff at the university - more than 250 have been axed in the past 18 months.

The union claimed 200 staff had already left through voluntary redundancy.