Five days of strikes ahead at University

Staff at Winchester University will walk out on five days if a row over job losses cannot be resolved.


Winchester university strike

UCU members on strike at Winchester University in 2014

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) 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 be working to rule from Thursday 30 May which will include a boycott of the open days the university holds to recruit more students.

The union say they were told by the university that it wants to get rid of 55 posts – around 10% of the workforce due to increased costs in pensions but the university say this figure us inaccurate and that they are seeking the equivalent of 30 – 40 full time posts which they say, is less 5% of salaried staff.

UCU said its members had made clear their frustrations when they backed taking action in a ballot, 80% of members backed strike action and 93% backed action short of a strikeand that the university will have to avoid ‘knee-jerk reactions’ to changes in pension costs and rule out compulsory job losses if it wants to avoid disruption.

A spokesperson said the university would soon be able to announce that the efficiencies are seeking will be met without any compulsory redundancies and that the union were aware of this. The spokesperson added:

 “We are disappointed that the UCU has announced this action, which will inevitably cause disruption to students, when there is no need for it to take place.”

UCU regional official Moray McAulay said:

“Nobody wants to see disruption, but staff feel they have been left with no option other than industrial action.”