Glasgow staff vote to strike over planned job cuts

June 23, 2010

Academics at the University of Glasgow have voted in favour of strike action in protest at planned cuts.

In a University and College Union ballot, 76 per cent of participants were in favour of strike action and 88.5 per cent supported the idea of action short of a strike.

The university is considering plans to cut 50 jobs in its archaeology, biomedical and life sciences, and education departments. The union is attempting to increase the pressure on members of the university court, who were due to meet today, arguing that savings already made by Glasgow are sufficient and that further job losses are unnecessary.

The vote is the latest in a series at institutions including the University of Sussex, King’s College London and University College London, in which union members have opted for industrial action. However, thus far, university managements and the union have been able to come to agreements to avoid staff carrying out threatened actions.

Mary Senior, UCU Scottish official, said: “There is a clear mandate for industrial action, but we hope that the dispute can be resolved without recourse to strike action. The Glasgow university court cannot ignore its staff and must agree to work together to resolve the situation without forcing job cuts.

“The university is presently running at a surplus of over £6 million a year and UCU members will no longer swallow financial problems as an excuse to sack staff.

“We are calling on the court to end the uncertainty for staff in the threatened departments or risk damaging the university’s proud international reputation.”

A Glasgow spokesman said: “We are disappointed at the UCU ballot result as industrial action will only harm students.”

24 June update

After protests by campus unions yesterday, the University of Glasgow has ruled out compulsory redundancies. The University and College Union said that industrial action would now be put on hold in the hope that the issue can be resolved without the threat of disruption.

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