University staff back industrial action

Staff at Winchester University have overwhelmingly backed strikes and other action

Winchester University staff pictured during a 2014 walkout.

Staff at Winchester University have overwhelmingly backed strikes and other action following a ballot of members of the University and College Union (UCU).

The UCU say the University has written to them to say it wanted to get rid of 55 posts – around 10% of the workforce, citing 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 while Winchester University has told Eastleigh News that they hope to make all their efficiencies through voluntary redundancy.

Four-fifths (80%) of members who voted backed strike action and 93% backed action short of a strike. 

UCU said members will finalise details of the industrial action in the coming days. As well as strikes likely to hit lectures this term, the union is looking at other forms of action such as working to contract, not covering for absences and boycotting open days.

In a statement UCU regional official Moray McAulay said:

“Nobody wants to see disruption, but UCU members at Winchester feel they have been left with no other option. The ball is now in the university’s court and we hope they will come back to us with proposals that rule out the need for strikes.”

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