22 January 2014
University bosses have been accused of using methods of intimidation against their members of staff in attempt to discourage them from taking strike action.
On 23 January 2014, thousands of lecturers across Britain are expected to take part in a two-hour walk-out as part of a pay dispute following threats of a 13% pay cut.
The University and College Union (UCU) has revealed a list of universities that are threatening to dock pay from their employees if they go on strike.
The list is made up of; Nottingham University, University of Chester, University of Dundee, Oxford Brookes University, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Leicester, De Montfort University, Staffordshire University, University of Wolverhampton, University of Surrey, and Leeds College of Art.
In an e-mail that was read by the Guardian, a university has said that the strike is a breach of lecturers’ employment contracts, adding that if they wanted to go on strike they should go the whole day and not only two hours, saying that any normal duties that lecturers would perform on the day would be voluntary and unpaid.
UCU, has threatened any university that wants to withhold an entire day’s pay from their staff with legal action.
They went on to say that the university bosses had a “baffling willingness to increase disruption for students as a way of intimidating staff”.
The UCU General Secretary Sally Hunt said, “UCU’s legal advice is that a two-hour strike should lead to the deduction of two hours‘ pay – no more or less.
“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.”
University bosses are being rightfully labelled as fat cats who are threatening forms of intimidation and bullying to deprive members of staff of their right to go on strike in order to protest for a fair wage.
The IER believes that it is every worker‘s right to go out on strike and to be able to negotiate for a fair salary. It seems that university staff are being made to suffer on unfair wages whilst university bosses are taking advantage of their wealth.
As Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis said, “Universities are sitting on billions of pounds of surplus money and they can afford to pay a decent wage to hard-working staff.”