The Solidarity Federation Education Union (SFEU) utterly condemns Leeds University management’s contemptuous disregard for the nationally agreed strike protocols in threatening 100% wage deductions for "partial performance" of duties and in demanding that cancelled lectures be somehow replaced in the future. A strike by definition means the withholding of our labour, not simply re-arranging that labour to another day. Staff members are not paid when they strike - replacing cancelled lectures just adds to the unpaid workload that caused staff to strike in the first place and dilutes the impact of the industrial action. These threats constitute an aggressive escalation and a cruel attempt to gain leverage by imposing punitive measures on staff during a cost of living crisis, which management have cynically attempted to hide behind the facade of “dedication, passion and care for our students”. The University would do better to demonstrate how much it “cares” for its staff and students by facing up to the issues which have led to a consistent democratic mandate for industrial action and the disruption of educational activities - the deterioration of pay and working conditions, pay inequalities, casualisation, and pension degradation. The threatened 100% pay deductions for ASOS (Action Short of a Strike) can and will be contested legally and the University should take note of the failure of similar attempts at different universities around the country in the past.
Thu, 09/02/2023 - 08:08
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