UCU announces strike at Liverpool Hope

Lecturers at Liverpool Hope University are to strike next week in a row over job losses.

April 1, 2011

The University and College Union announced today that its members would strike on 8 April, and claimed that 90 jobs are at risk at the institution.

The union criticised the university for refusing to extend the 28-day time limit in which union members can strike after a strike ballot has taken place. It argued that an extension would have allowed the two parties to negotiate further.

Martyn Moss, UCU regional official, said: “We fail to understand why the university has essentially asked union members to put up or shut up when it comes to strike action.

“Anyone looking for a peaceful resolution to this dispute would have extended the window and sought to avoid industrial action.

“Had the university agreed to UCU’s request to extend the window for potential industrial action, we could have focused on trying to resolve the dispute.

“By refusing the union’s olive branch, they have left members at Liverpool Hope who value their jobs and the university’s long-term reputation with little choice but to take strike action. We appeal to the university to see sense and reconsider their position.”

Mr Moss added that union members at the institution “have no faith in how the university is handling the funding problems that have beset the higher education sector”.

“They do not think the university should be swinging the axe on jobs so hastily,” he said.

The university said it was disappointed that a strike had been called, and insisted that it had to “act quickly to ensure it maintains its strong position” in the face of public cuts.

A spokesman said the university had already made clear that it did not want to “pass on government debt to graduate debt” by charging £9,000 fees from 2012.

On the refusal to extend the deadline for strike action, he added: “UCU has failed to get a national agreement on job security and no university can give a guarantee that there will be no compulsory redundancies. This is the basis of UCU's dispute with Liverpool Hope and the situation will not change in the next four weeks.”

john.gill@tsleducation.com

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