Posted by Editor on 27th June 2012 at 12:17 PM
Salford University brands union intimidation claims 'ludicrous'
Salford University has slammed claims from a trade union that it intimidated staff dring a recent day of strikes over job cuts.
The Universities and College Union, which represents around 600 staff at Salford University, said that yesterday's picket line were confronted with intimidating behaviour from senior management.
But in a statement to SalfordOnline.com today the university has ridiculed the trade union's claims.
A University of Salford spokesman said: "We had a small number of staff acting as marshals at picket lines this morning to ensure that the day-to-day work of the University took place as usual without disruption and to suggest that they were intimidating people picketing is ludicrous."
Union members reported that the university "sent out high-visibility jacketed staff to act as 'picket marshals', in an attempt to intimidate staff."
Salford University say that they have had no reports of any adverse impact on their students after the industrial action.
Lectures and examinations at the University concluded for the academic year some weeks ago.
Members of the University and Colleges Union - which represents some 600 Salford University staff - were on strike from 7am on Tuesday 26th June 2012.
In a recent UCU ballot over 70 per cent of members voted for strike action, while four-fifths voted for action short of a strike.
Yesterday's dispute centred on moves by the university to place staff in 'redundancy pools' with dozens of jobs at risk.
Salford University called the strike action "disappointing" and said: "We have made significant
progress in mitigating compulsory redundancy through our ongoing consultation with the union, with the result that the number of people who would be potentially affected by the proposals has been reduced from 149 to 25.
"We will continue to talk with all our trades unions over the forthcoming weeks with the aim of mitigating the need for any compulsory redundancies."
In May the trade union held 'crisis talks' with the university over job cuts and job security.
In early March, Salford University announced that 180 administrative and technical staff would face redundancy. Two weeks later, the university said that 150 teaching and research posts would be axed in art and design, computer studies and languages, humanities, life sciences, and environmental studies.
UCU regional official, Martyn Moss, said: "The last thing anyone wanted today was disruption, but the university has to understand the anger felt by members who have faced round after round of job cuts.
"Although the talks broke down so disappointingly last week, the door remains open for the university to sit down with us to resolve the dispute. We hope they will accept this offer and that there is no need for further action."
Salford University commented today that: "We are committed to ensuring that there are no detrimental changes to the teaching, learning and assessment of our student and will ensure that they are kept informed of any developments."
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