University and College Union members at the University of Salford have voted to strike in protest at the sackings of two colleagues, who the UCU alleges may have been targeted “as a result of their role in the union”.
The strike will be held on 23 April after 75 per cent of Salford UCU members who took part in a ballot voted to support the move.
The union said that two UCU members, who worked in the School of Marketing and student recruitment, had raised concerns late last year about a restructure.
“They were placed on forced gardening leave the day before the new restructure was announced. Their contracts of employment were then terminated,” the UCU said.
“They were not given the opportunity to be part of a redundancy selection pool, were not consulted on how their redundancies could be avoided and were not allowed to appeal against their job losses.”
The UCU added that it “believes the employees may have been targeted as a result of their role in the union where one of them took the position of local representative. Despite axing both members of staff, apparently as a cost-cutting exercise, new posts have since been advertised internally in their department.”
The union said it has lodged “a complaint on behalf of both members of staff at the employment tribunal”.
Martyn Moss, UCU regional official, said: “No institution should be allowed to ride roughshod over agreed procedures and violate its employees’ rights in this way.
“In the meantime, UCU is still committed to achieving a negotiated settlement through talks.”
A Salford spokesman said: “We have been trying to resolve this dispute with the individuals concerned and are therefore disappointed that a day of strike action has been called. We expect all student lectures to run as normal on Thursday.
“We hope that a resolution can be found but, as this is an ongoing legal matter, we are unable to comment further.”