King’s staff vote for strike action over job cuts

Staff at King’s College London are set to take industrial action over planned redundancies in three health schools

June 25, 2014

More than 80 per cent of University and College Union members who voted in a ballot backed strike action, and the local branch will meet on 1 July to discuss the decision.

The institution wants to cut staff costs by 10 per cent in the schools of medicine and biomedical sciences and at the Institute of Psychiatry, which could see up to 120 academics losing their jobs, the UCU says.

Staff who do not meet a threshold value for research income or who teach fewer than a specified number of hours will be at risk. Notices of dismissal will be issued on 15 August, according to the UCU.

UCU regional official Barry Jones said: “Sacking over 100 staff will do absolutely nothing for King’s College’s academic reputation.”

He added: “While strike action is always a last resort, King’s College’s cynical attempts to finalise these redundancies during the summer break left members with no option but to ballot for action now.”

Academic redundancies have also been announced in the department of education and professional studies, the UCU says. Meanwhile, the university is planning to invest £400 million in infrastructure, the union adds.

A spokesman for King’s said the UCU had “not notified the College of any planned industrial action by its members. Many of the issues raised by the UCU are being addressed in the collective consultation process, which is ongoing, and the College is committed to continuing to engage in constructive discussions.”

holly.else@tsleducation.com

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