12 Days Remaining

Tuesday 20th
posted by Morning Star in Britain

LECTURERS at Manchester Metropolitan University will strike today and tomorrow over bosses’ plans to axe staff while stashing away hundreds of millions of pounds in reserves.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) will strike at the university’s Manchester and Crewe campuses.

The dispute centres on a threat to 160 academic staff at the Crewe campus because of its planned closure in 2019.

Pickets will be in action at both sites’ main entrances and a rally is planned for today at the Deaf Institute Cafe in Grosvenor Street, Manchester, from noon. Speakers at the rally will include UCU general secretary Sally Hunt.

UCU regional official Martyn Moss said: “Strike action is always a last resort, but members at Manchester Metropolitan University have made it quite clear they are prepared to take action to defend jobs.

“We want the university to postpone the redundancies planned for this summer and to come back and speak with us with a view to resolving this dispute.”

The union said the university has almost £400 million in reserves and said that it sees no rationale for refusing to pause on the job losses or rule out compulsory redundancies.

On Wednesday striking staff will also speak to parents and prospective students as they attend an open day at the Manchester campus.

A spokesperson for the university said: “We are deeply disappointed that the UCU has chosen to target a university open day for its proposed strike action. However, we expect there to be minimal impact on the event, which will go ahead as planned.”

They added that the £400m reserves referred to by UCU represented the university’s non-cash assets such as land, buildings, fixtures and fittings.

In a recent ballot 79 per cent of those voting backed strike action.