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Three-weeks of strikes announced at the University of Liverpool

10 May 2021

The University of Liverpool will be hit with three weeks of strikes, as nearly 1,300 UCU members are expected to down tools from Monday 24 May to Friday 11 June, unless the university halts planned job cuts.

Staff will be on strike every working day during the following weeks: 

  • Monday 24 May - Friday 28 May 
  • Tuesday 1 June - Friday 4 June 
  • Monday 7 June - Friday 11 June 

The strikes are set to go ahead during the crucial end of year examination period, meaning disruption for the university will be especially severe. 

Action short of strike also begins today, which includes only working to contracted hours and boycotting all voluntary activities.  

The action comes after 84% of members who voted in a ballot last month backed strike action to fight the university's plans to slash teaching and research jobs in the faculty of health and life sciences. The university originally intended to sack up to 47 staff. This has now been revised down to 32 after UCU threatened industrial action.  

Liverpool's management has also revised the original selection criteria it had intended to use to rank and sack the staff. This relied on the use of flawed data to assess performance and was widely criticised by experts. But the revised criteria remain opaque, lack transparency and the university has refused to tell staff what data it is using to choose who to sack. This means that people threatened with redundancy have no idea what targets they have to meet to keep their jobs. 

 UCU regional official Martyn Moss said: 'More than one thousand University of Liverpool staff are set to go on strike for three weeks in the middle of the crucial end of year exam period. The university has two weeks to stop its senseless attack on jobs and withdraw these proposals if it wants to halt the strike action.' 

University of Liverpool UCU branch president Anthony O'Hanlon said: 'While we welcome the abandonment of the doomed journal citation metric, and the protection of 15 jobs as a result of the work of the branch, the situation remains equally dangerous for our members and for the sector more widely. 

 'The criteria have been designed to place maximum discretion in the hands of managers to attack jobs and threaten livelihoods in the midst of a pandemic. There is no economic or moral justification for these redundancies. To prevent a campaign of sustained industrial action, all the university has to do is withdraw them.' 

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