UCU threatens Liverpool University with five-day strike next week

The strike will fall over five consecutive days that coincide with the first week of teaching at the university.

University and College Union members at the University of Liverpool will begin five days of strike action on Monday 4 October over plans to sack two staff members.

The union announced the five consecutive strike dates would coincide with the first week of teaching at the university.

The week-long action is part of a long-running dispute with the university over plans for the faculty of health and life sciences. The six-month-long campaign by the university was in opposition to plans to cut 47 jobs. UCU members have so far taken 24 days of strike action, including three weeks in May and June and 10 days in August. The union gave senior management seven days to retain the two staff or risk disruption.

The university disputes that two jobs at risk – it says just one staff member faces compulsory redundancy after others took a voluntary severance option.

The University of Liverpool Guild of Students supports the strike action and called on the vice-chancellor, Prof Dame Janet Beer, “to reach an agreement, so students do not see disruption to their first full week of lessons this academic year”.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “University of Liverpool vice-chancellor Janet Beer has forced staff to take 24 days of strike action in defence of jobs in a dispute that has now entered its sixth month. Thanks to our industrial action, the university has stepped back from sacking almost all of the 47 staff originally at risk.

“Janet now needs to halt plans to sack the final two members who are still being threatened with compulsory redundancy and finally resolve this dispute. Otherwise, the university will be hit with wholesale disruption in its first full week of teaching.”

A University of Liverpool spokesperson, said: “The majority of those colleagues who remained at risk of redundancy have now accepted an enhanced voluntary severance offer and have left or will shortly leave the university.
“This, aligned with other measures such as redeployment, mean that notice of compulsory redundancy has been made to only one person. It is extremely disappointing that a further period of strike action has been announced by UCU.”
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