Union plans strike to stop Aberdeen University Cuts


THE University and College Union (UCU) has announced dates for strike action at Aberdeen university.  The strike is over the university’s plans to cut jobs in modern languages and putting 30 staff at risk of redundancy.

UCU members at the university will take six days of strike action starting on Tuesday 12 March and escalating throughout March.  Members voted for strike action in a ballot with 80% of those voting backing strikes on a turnout of 60%.

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As well as taking strike action, members will also be taking part in action short of strike which includes working to contract and not rescheduling classes cancelled as part of the action.

A petition to save modern languages at Aberdeen has been signed by more than 17,000 people and MSPs from multiple parties have spoken out supporting the retention of languages at the university.  The university was also criticised by consulates representing the governments of France, Germany, Spain, and Italy.

On Monday staff and students will join together in a public rally* to ‘Save Modern Languages’ in the university organised by the Aberdeen university UCU branch and Aberdeen university students’ association.

The union said that the university’s refusal to rule out compulsory redundancies was unacceptable.  The union claimed that they had, despite multiple requests, not been provided with the necessary financial information detailing why senior managers believe the cuts are necessary.  Despite this, the union said they remained willing to work with the university to avoid the need for compulsory redundancies and to find alternative savings.

Aberdeen branch chair, Dr Rachel Shanks, said: “The very last thing staff at the university want to do is to go on strike but we’ve been forced into this position by senior managers who are prepared to see staff lose pay, and students suffer disruption rather than working together to resolve this dispute.

“It’s not too late for the university Principal and other senior managers to resolve the dispute.  We urge them to fully engage with the union to find a way forward that allows the university to recover its reputation and the 30 staff to keep their jobs.”

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