Strike ballot opens at University

Union warns of action if Uni refuses to rule out compulsory redundancies.


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UCU members took action at Winchester University in 2014

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at Winchester University are being balloted for strike action in a row over jobs. The Union has said the University wants to get rid of 55 posts and have refused to rule out compulsory redundancies as it seeks to balance the books in the face of rising pension costs. 

The ballot opens today (April 24) and closes on Thursday 9 May.  The UCU has warned that if the university refuses to rule out any forced severance it is likely to face disruption later in May.

In a statement sent to Eastleigh News the University said that is was facing financial challenges but had so far held off from making redundancies:

“In early March we put in place a voluntary severance scheme, with a view to reducing between 30-40 full-time equivalent posts. 118 academic staff from across the institution have been invited to consider voluntary severance.

We remain hopeful that we will secure the required savings through voluntary means and should be in a position to confirm this by the end of April.”

But UCU acting general secretary Paul Cottrell warned:

 ‘Winchester University faces strike action if it refuses to rule out compulsory redundancies. There is no need for this knee-jerk reaction to changes to pension costs and this strike ballot should act as a warning to other universities tempted to use the changes to axe jobs.”