Birmingham strike threats ended

All threatened strike action at the University of Birmingham has been called off after the University and College Union reached an agreement with the institution’s management over compulsory redundancies and performance management.

March 23, 2013

Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower, University of Birmingham

In January UCU members voted for five days of strike action amid anger over threatened compulsory redundancies in four departments and allegations that Birmingham had changed its approach to performance management without consulting the union.

However, the first two days of strikes were called off earlier this month after talks with Birmingham management made progress. The union has now called off further action after a final settlement was reached.

In a letter to its members, the union says compulsory redundancies had been avoided in three of the departments while redundancies in the fourth, physiotherapy, were also “very unlikely” due to an agreement to delay external recruitment “until the threat affecting existing staff has been addressed”.

The university has also agreed to enhanced consultation over future redundancies, the union said.

It added that an agreement on performance management contains “procedural safeguards intended to prevent bullying or aggressive management practices, and a commitment that any future changes to performance management schemes will be adopted on the basis of collective discussions”.

David Bailey, chair of Birmingham’s UCU branch, said: “We intend for this to mark a new and more engaged relationship with the university management, with Birmingham University UCU playing an important role as the recognised union representing all academic and academic-related staff at this university.”

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