Newcastle warns staff over working to contract

A second university has threatened academics with a loss of pay over working to rule, Times Higher Education has discovered. 

November 12, 2013

Newcastle University emailed employees before a national strike on 31 October to warn them that working to contract constituted a “breach of contract” and this entitled them to withhold “100% of salary”.

Members of the University and College Union have been working to contract - such as not doing unpaid overtime - as part of a pay dispute since November 1.

On 24 October, Newcastle employees were told that if they took part in this action “they breach their contract of employment and are no longer entitled to their contractual pay and conditions”.

“The university is very clear that it will not accept partial performance of a contract of employment and that any industrial action is a breach of contract for which the university is entitled to withhold 100% of salary,” wrote Veryan Johnston, executive director of human resources.

The news comes after it emerged that the University of Wales Trinity Saint David had also given staff the same warning prior to the strike.

No pay had been docked for working to rule nor were there any plans to do so, a Newcastle spokesman said.

In a statement a spokeswoman for Newcastle said that the university was “very clear that it will not accept partial performance of a contract”.

But she stressed that it would “only consider withholding pay from staff as a last resort and where there had been a clear breach of their contract.”

“Our students expect a high standard from us and the university cannot accept anything which has a detrimental impact on the teaching experience,” she said.

david.matthews@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

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry