Liverpool academics set to vote on strike action

A strike ballot is opening at the University of Liverpool over plans to force about 2,800 non-academic staff to accept revised terms and conditions

July 22, 2013

Members of University and College Union’s Liverpool branch will begin voting from 22 July at noon over possible industrial action, with the ballot set to run until 6 September. It is the first time such a ballot has taken place among UCU members at Liverpool.

A “yes” vote could trigger an escalating programme of strike action this autumn and measures short of a strike, such as refusing to work unpaid overtime.

The vote follows anger at a letter to staff that said they must accept new contracts or face three months’ notice of dismissal, after which they would be rehired on the new terms.

Unions claim the revised contracts would increase staff working at weekends, evenings and bank holidays without the appropriate time off in lieu.

UCU regional official Martyn Moss said the university’s decision to “ride roughshod over procedures we have agreed with them” and threaten staff with dismissal had led to the ballot.

“Staff will simply not sit back and be treated in this way,” Mr Moss said. “That is why they have asked their union to ballot them for strike action for the very first time in a dispute with the University of Liverpool.”

It follows the announcement by Liverpool that it is serving notice to staff of a 45-day consultation period, which came into effect in April, as opposed to a 90-day consultation period previously agreed with unions.

“Nobody ever wants to take strike action and the dedicated staff at the University of Liverpool are no different,” said Mr Moss.

“If the vice-chancellor wants to avoid disruption he needs to look again at this heavy-handed approach to negotiations and understand that other institutions do not treat their staff in this way.”

A university spokesman has said the changes will help to “standardise the terms and conditions for the university’s non-academic and academic-related staff” and “provide greater consistency and transparency about the circumstances in which staff become eligible for certain terms such as pay supplements or compensatory time off”.

“We are aware of the UCU’s plans to ballot for strike action; we remain committed to achieving an agreement with the trades unions on the terms of the new contract,” he added.

jack.grove@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Summer Receptionists

University Of Chichester

PhD fellow within Machine Learning for Personalized Healthcare

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Lecturer in Finance

Maynooth University

Teaching Laboratory Assistant

University Of Bristol
See all jobs

Most Commented

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

Mitch Blunt illustration (23 March 2017)

Without more conservative perspectives in the academy, lawmakers will increasingly ignore and potentially defund social science, says Musa al-Gharbi

Alexander Wedderburn

Former president of the British Psychological Society remembered

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham