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Another decision on deductions and disruption

Published: 24th February, 2020

Last week Leicester UCU members rejected a deal put to us by the University’s leadership team on pay deductions and campus demonstrations. Following that rejection, the vice-chancellor and his deputy made us an improved offer, as follows:

Our employer would spread deductions over five months, beginning with two days’ deduction in May and three days’ deduction in June, July, August and September.

In return, members of Leicester UCU would

1. report their strike action using the HR department’s on-line form (and would do so before 20 March 2020); and

2. agree to not demonstrate on campus.

The University’s leaders also requested that Leicester UCU’s social media communications would not be personalised and that we remove our own strike reporting form from our website.

We put this improved offer to you, again inviting you to register your view via an online ballot. This closed this morning at 9am. Again a large proportion of members voted. A clear majority has voted to accept the deal offered by the University leaders. (An implication of this is that, if any member does not use the HR department’s on-line strike reporting form, then they will have all 14 days’ deductions taken in April).

Leicester UCU members have told us (and tweeted about) their anger that our University’s leaders have forced them to take this decision. We remain squarely of the opinion that our USS pensions dispute is the fault of our employers – therefore deducting wages for strike action is not morally justified and possibly not legally justified, either. Similarly, our ethical position in the ‘four fights’ dispute is equally solid. We are battling for the future of the University and the people who make it. 

Many members revealed that they have consented to the deal offered by the University leaders as the best way of protecting the most financially precarious amongst us – those on lower-paid and more casualised contracts. Precarious workers have requested a meeting with the vice-chancellor in order to discuss the particular problems they face – obviously we want such employees to be offered secure contracts, in line with the national claim. (This is within the power of the University, whatever the outcome at a national level.)

Regarding our strike actions, of course we will still be picketing the University’s main entrances. We will continue to be lively. We will continue to make lots of noise and play music. We will continue to demonstrate our case.

Come and join us!