UCU votes to fight Leeds downgrades

June 23, 2006

Union members at Leeds University this week voted unanimously to take industrial action over the downgrading of 100 administrators' jobs, writes Anna Fazackerley.

The Leeds branch of the University and College Union said university managers had imposed the changes, which form part of the new national job evaluation scheme, without warning or proper negotiation.

Gavin Reid, president of the Leeds branch, said: "I again call on the university to withdraw its downgrading letters and to reopen serious negotiations aimed at developing a credible grading structure."

Leeds managers say that although 100 jobs have been downgraded, an equivalent number of staff have been upgraded.

A spokeswoman for Leeds said: "We are fully committed to helping 'red-circled' staff develop back into their original grade, in their current job or in another. It's already clear in some cases that this can happen very soon - in a matter of months."

She added: "The unions have been closely involved at all stages of this process, and we have reached agreement on every point. We have a meeting with UCU tomorrow."

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