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  • Writer's pictureThe Gaudie

BREAKING: Six Days of Strikes To Be Held Over Language Cuts

Updated: Feb 28

Union members will take to the picket line as negotiations with University management prove unsuccessful

By Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco

Photo Credit: Aberdeen UCU
Photo Credit: Aberdeen UCU

Members of the UCU academic union will strike for six days in March over plans to make staff in the University’s modern language department redundant.

The first day of picketing will take place on Tuesday the 12th of March, followed by strikes on Thursday the 21st and Friday the 22nd of March.

The action will escalate the following week, with strikes expected on Monday the 25th, Tuesday the 26th, and Wednesday the 27th.

Aberdeen UCU 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.”

On the strike days, participating members will not lecture, participate in tutorials, or mark assignments.

A joint rally organised by the UCU and AUSA, calling on risk of redundancy notices to be removed, will be held on the 26th of February at 5.30 PM in New Kings 1.

Students are encouraged to attend and also to join staff members on the picket lines.

In a statement, a University spokesperson expressed "disappointment" with the union's decision.

They said: "The announcement of industrial action is disappointing as there is a real possibility that staff savings in Modern Languages and the School of Language, Literature, Music, and Visual Culture will be achieved through voluntary departures from the University.

"The consultation on Modern Languages has also resulted in the development of a strong set of proposals which provides an academically and financially sustainable future for Modern Languages.

"Our talks with Aberdeen UCU will continue and we hope a resolution to the dispute can be found in the coming days that will mean that the industrial action will not proceed. In the meantime measures are in place to keep any disruption to students to a minimum."


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