UCLan teachers call off strike as redundancies put on hold

University of Central Lancashire staff have called off a planned strike this Thursday (25 March) and suspended strike action following an agreement with the university.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd March 2021, 6:07 pm

The now cancelled strike was announced after plans to cut six teaching roles from the university’s ‘Culture and Creative Industries’ department following a spate of redundancies at the Preston university.

Martyn Moss, UCU regional official, 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.”

Staff who are part of the University and College Union (UCU) have suspended strike action after talks with the university.

A joint statement reads: “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.

“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.”

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Now the university has agreed to cut the number of at risk roles from six to four and further discussions are due to take place. Previously, 67 full-time roles were at risk of redundancy.

The university also agreed to suspend its ‘formal redundancy selection process’ and is looking to redeploy staff instead.

“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,” the joint statement reads.

“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.”

More than 250 staff took voluntary redundancy at the university over the past 18 months as part of university ‘restructuring’ to cut costs.

Despite student numbers and applications ‘increasing during the last few years’, UCLan said staff costs had ‘also disproportionately accelerated’.

The now cancelled strike action by the department could have disrupted all of the university’s departments and 38,000 students.