The UCU will ballot its members at Manchester Metropolitan University for industrial action over compulsory redundancies, resulting from the closure of one of its campuses.
The union says it has been forced to ballot members for strike action after university bosses consistently frustrated efforts to resolve the dispute that centres on the future of over 160 academic staff based at the south Cheshire site.
UCU says that the final straw came last month when the university rejected a proposal to postpone redundancies scheduled for this summer to allow both sides time to consider redeployment options and severance packages.
The university has almost £400m in reserves and UCU says it sees no rationale for refusing to back down on this summer’s job losses or ruling out compulsory redundancies. The university confirmed on 10 February that the Crewe campus will close in August 2019 after the current courses based there finish.
UCU regional official Martyn Moss said: “It’s a scandal that the university is prepared to throw years of academic talent and experience on the scrapheap without proper consideration of alternatives. We believe that there needs to be a pause on proposed job losses for this summer as we try and work through the issues.
“We thought that was the university’s position as well. Members have had enough of being messed around and feel their only option is to ballot for industrial action – something which is always a last resort. We hope the university will now engage in meaningful negotiations with a desire to resolve the dispute without the need for any strike action.”
Marxist students stand in solidarity with university workers at Manchester Met and will support any industrial action to the hilt. No to sackings! For an end to capitalism and worker exploitation – on campus and beyond!
UK campuses have been shut down over the last week by a national walkout of UCU members. The Marxist Student Federation has been active in mobilising students to offer support and solidarity. Workers and students: unite and fight!