Essex UCU Statement in Support of the University of Leicester Staff
Essex UCU condemns the current attempt to make 145 University of Leicester staff members redundant across 5 academic departments and 3 professional service units. Not only is this an attack on colleagues’ livelihoods and working conditions, it is an attack on students, further undermining their education. To undertake such a restructuring in the midst of a global pandemic where staff are already facing a workload crisis, one where precarious staff have already lost their employment, is irresponsible and abhorrent.
We further condemn both the attack on union representatives and committee members who have been targeted for redundancy, and the attempts to undermine concerted efforts at the University of Leicester to decolonise their curriculum. This clearly political campaign must be opposed and we stand in solidarity with the recent decision by the Leicester UCU branch to ballot for immediate industrial action.
We urge senior management at the University of Leicester to reverse their decision and to engage immediately in good faith negotiations with Leicester UCU. We urge all members to support their campaign and to sign the letters of support below.
On the abolishment of Medieval and Early Modern English Literature:
On the abolishment of political economy and critical management studies:
Further information can be found here:
Fri 8 Jan 2021
The Essex UCU indicative ballot has now closed. We are pleased to confirm that 52% of members participated in the ballot (which is above the legal threshold for an industrial action ballot). Members overwhelmingly voted to say that they would be willing to participate in strike action (71.5%) and action short of strike (83.5%) if the University proceeds with their plan for blended learning including face to face teaching once the national lockdown ends.
We want to thank you all for taking part in this ballot. The fact that so many of you voted despite the ballot falling over the Christmas closure shows the strength of feeling of members at the University. We will be meeting with management next week to discuss our dispute over the plans for blended learning once the lockdown is lifted. We will inform management of the outcome of the ballot during those discussions. We hope that they will acknowledge the widespread and valid concerns of staff and agree to amend their proposals to make it clear that where possible all student facing work should continue to be undertaken online but with exceptions for work that cannot be carried out online and for staff who freely choose to opt in to work on campus once that is permitted by the government. We will keep you updated on the progress of these discussions and on the next steps.
UCU Branch President, Essex