A banner from the picket line in Bristol during the strike – By Tim Lezard The UCU will take legal action against university that tries to dock a full day’s pay for members taking two hour’s strike tomorrow. Union members are tomorrow between 11am and …

Walton Pantland Europe, UK, Education (EI),
A banner from the picket line in Bristol during the strike

A banner from the picket line in Bristol during the strike

– By Tim Lezard

The UCU will take legal action against university that tries to dock a full day’s pay for members taking two hour’s strike tomorrow.

Union members are tomorrow between 11am and 1pm taking the first of a series of short strikes as part of their long-running dispute over pay.

After eleven universities threatened to deduct a full day’s pay from strikers, the union warned it would seek to recover any unlawfully deducted pay through the courts.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: “Any university that tries to dock a full day’s pay for a two-hour walkout will face a legal challenge from us and an escalation of strike action, as well as risking considerable damage to their reputation for fair play.

“Perversely, any universities that do dock a full day’s pay will ensure far greater disruption for their students, which suggests the approach has nothing to do with the welfare of staff or students and is based around penny-pinching and bullying.

“Any kind of disruption is always a last resort but, after five years of pay suppression with members 13% worse off in real terms, we want a fair deal.”

The institutions threatening to withhold a full day’s pay are Nottingham Trent University, University of Chester, Dundee University, Oxford Brookes University, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Leicester, De Montfort University, University of Staffordshire, Wolverhampton University, Surrey University and Leeds College of Art.

The union said that universities who dock a full day’s pay would cause greater disruption for their students and accused them of penny-pinching and bullying. By refusing to pay staff, or allowing them to work all day on Thursday, there will be full day’s disruption, rather than the planned two hours between 11am and 1pm.

UCU is embroiled in a pay dispute with UK universities after university bosses refused to improve a 1% pay offer that will leave staff with a real-terms 13% pay cut since 2009. Union members took two days of strike action last year and have warned of more industrial action to come if the employers refuse to come back to the negotiating table with a fair pay offer.

The three two-hour stoppages are scheduled to take at these times:

Thursday 23 January 11am-1pm

Tuesday 28 January 2pm-4pm

Monday 10 February 9am-11am


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Walton Pantland

South African trade unionist living in Glasgow. Loves whisky, wine, running and the great outdoors. Walton did an MA in Industrial Relations at Ruskin, Oxford, and is interested in how trade unions use new technology to organise.

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