University strikes halted as union praises ‘heroic’ effort from members

A strike of up to 1,300 members of staff at the University of Liverpool over job cuts has been called off.

<p>Union members protest at the University of Liverpool. Image: ucu.org.uk</p>

Union members protest at the University of Liverpool. Image: ucu.org.uk

The University College Union (UCU) and the University of Liverpool’s senior leadership team met this week and came to an agreement to prevent a staff walkout.

UCU had threatened the strike could cause ‘wholesale disruption’ for students in the first full week of teaching at the university in the new term.

The proposed action was part of a long running dispute over job cuts in university’s the faculty of health and life sciences.

Why were staff going to strike?

In a ballot earlier this year, 84% of UCU members who voted backed strike action to fight the university’s plans to cut 47 teaching and research jobs in the faculty of health and life sciences.

UCU claimed this number had fallen to two compulsory redundancies after six months of industrial action, including 24 days of strikes by staff.

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Reaction

A university statement said that two members of staff had been able to reconsider the university’s offer of voluntary severance and leave on the same terms as other individuals who have recently left.

This included one staff member who had previously been issued with a notice of compulsory redundancy.

A statement from the UCU branch at the university said: "Following an Emergency General meeting, University of Liverpool UCU has agreed to stand down the strike action planned for Monday 4th - Friday 8th October.

"Back in January, we were informed of the university’s plans to make 47 compulsory redundancies. As a result of this action, not one compulsory redundancy has been made to a UCU member."

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