The University is naturally disappointed that members of the UCU have voted that they are prepared to take industrial action consisting of a strike and/or industrial action short of a strike, particularly because the proposed staffing changes which were the subject of the ballot have been considered carefully through an extensive consultation process with all three of our recognised Trade Unions, including the UCU. This includes 16 collective consultation meetings, which have taken place since May that have resulted in a number of amendments to the proposals as a consequence of consultation.
We are very aware that this has been and remains an anxious and unsettling time for our staff. The University is committed to mitigating the need for redundancy, and in line with the Security of Employment Policy has taken a number of steps including sourcing redeployment opportunities for ‘at risk’ staff, tight vacancy management control and offering a generous Voluntary Severance Scheme.
Whilst we hope that staff will decide to continue to work normally, every effort will be made to ensure that there will be no significant disruption to operations at the University and particularly to our students should there be any industrial action. We also remain committed to continue our dialogue with the Trade Unions and staff on these plans as they are implemented.