UCU members at UCLAN are celebrating a victory as their threat of strike action has forced management to withdraw the threat of compulsory redundancies. UCU has also won an agreement that money deducted for strike days will be paid to the student hardship fund. Students, who fought hard with UCU in the campaign against privatising the statutes, will be delighted.
The new Vice Chancellor, Gerry Kellegher (well-known to MMU UCU members) had chosen to make his name known by threatening compulsory redundancies and imposing changes to terms and conditions. But the UCU Branch chose to stand up to him, no doubt remembering their recent victory against proposals to change the statutes.
In the event, the strike action was not needed and the branch chose to withdraw their action in favour of talks with ACAS to settle the outstanding elements of the dispute. UCU are angry that management is trying to impose line management responsibilities on Principle Lecturers, against the detail of the Lecturers’ Contract and the Framework Agreement.
This victory shows how action can win. It shows how a branch can build on student solidarity from previous campaigns. UCLAN UCU will need to retain their watchfulness and their readiness to challenge management, including the possibility of further industrial action.
As we prepare for the HE marking boycott and further action in our dispute, this is an important reminder of the potential we hold when we take action together.