Louis Ashworth

Cambridge UCU has passed a motion condemning threats from the University to cut pay for teaching lost due to strike action.

In the meeting of the Cambridge branch of the UCU on Monday (18/01), members discussed “threatening” messages from University management following industrial action in December.

The motion from their meeting states that the University had threatened to deduct 25 percent of staff pay “for each day that a staff member chooses to not reschedule lectures or classes disrupted by the strike”. They report that the same penalty will apply for refusal to share materials for the cancelled lectures or classes.  

The motion called for a “public campaign” condemning the University’s policy, as well as a “voluntary levy” paid by members to compensate for the proposed pay reductions.

Cambridge UCU will also petition the union’s Higher Education Committee to call for strike action nationwide in February.


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In response to the UCU claims, a University spokesperson has asserted that the University “will only withhold pay for strike action”, as well “action short of strike which constitutes a breach of contract.”

Explaining the rationale behind the University’s decision, the spokesperson said that “students have already experienced close to two years of major disruption to their education” and that they were “taking this action with [their] students in mind.”

“The University remains committed to working with its unions, and continues with Cambridge UCU to press for the redesign of the Universities Superannuation Scheme with a view to achieving better outcomes for members and putting the scheme on a more sustainable footing.”

The UCU announced last November (16/11) that they would hold strikes between the 1st and 3rd of December, after members voted in favour of industrial action earlier that month.