Staff at Salford University are resisting redundancies writes a UCU activist who attended a 250 strong UCU meeting
Salford University staff face another tranche of job cuts this summer. Around 250 jobs are set to go with around 800 staff placed 'at risk' in the process. This week's union meeting had to be relocated to one of the largest lecture halls in the uni as more than 250 UCU members packed in to vote for action.
UCU leader Sally Hunt sent a letter appealing to the membership to attend the union meeting reminding us of our right to leave work to participate. We heard from Michael MacNeil the UCU national Head of HE who said ' I'm the suit come to calm you all down, but after what I've heard I 'm saying stand up and fight for your jobs'.
We voted unanimously to pursue notice to ballot for strike action. After at least two years of these waves of job cuts, with hundreds receiving redundancy letters, applying for their own, often downgraded jobs, and seeing colleagues forced out on so called 'voluntary' severance the mood has shifted from one of despair to anger.
This was shown by the response to the call for an immediate demonstration from the meeting to the VC's office. Most of the meeting streamed across campus bringing the traffic on the busy dual carriageway to halt. Armed with the union banner, placards and a megaphone members made sure that the senior management got the message .
Now we wait to hear of any progress in talks while we prepare for action
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