Published: 20th September, 2018
A strike at University of Leicester, due to start on Monday – the first day of the new term – has been called off.
Since May, Leicester University and College Union (UCU) – which represents lecturers, researchers, librarians, IT specialists, administrators and professional services workers – has been in dispute with the University Leadership Team over a number of compulsory redundancies. Earlier in September, members of Leicester UCU voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action in defence of jobs: on a turnout of 55%, almost two-thirds (63%) voted for strike action.
However negotiations with the University Leadership Team have been successful, resulting in a satisfactory resolution to the dispute. Industrial action – which would have involved both strike action and action short of a strike – is now no longer necessary.
Sarah Seaton, co-chair of Leicester UCU said: ‘I think everyone associated with University of Leicester – staff, students and managers – is delighted that we have been able to resolve this dispute without recourse to strike action – which we only ever undertake with great reluctance. We can now look forwards to welcoming new and returning students next week.’
Leicester UCU and the University of Leicester Leadership Team have issued the following joint statement:
The University of Leicester’s Leadership Team and Leicester UCU are pleased to confirm that the local dispute between both parties has been resolved and, therefore, the strike action planned to commence next week has been cancelled. We have worked closely and constructively over the past few months to mitigate the risk of any compulsory redundancies and to try and avoid strike action.
We all acknowledge that a strike during Fresher’s week and beyond would have been damaging for our students, staff, and University. This outcome follows a series of positive discussions and a developing climate of trust and confidence between us both.
We agree that all organisations must respond to their changing environment in order to be successful. It is clearly understood that change affects people. It requires new ways of thinking, new ways of working and different ways of behaving. The University is committed to managing change and performance in ways which are consistent with its values, ordinances and policies.
In practical terms, the University will strive to mitigate the impact of change on members of staff and a key focus of our discussions has been the level and type of support we offer to staff affected by change.
We will continue to work collaboratively to address the challenges that the University faces.
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