Sussex

Fresh strikes by University of Sussex staff in Brighton

Sussex University
Image caption University of Sussex union members staged walkouts in March and May

Staff at the University of Sussex in Brighton are to take part in further walkouts over job cuts.

University and College Union members plan to strike on 18 and 21 June.

The union said further targeted action, aimed at "fundamentally disrupting the administration of examination boards", would be announced in the coming weeks.

The university said the cuts, announced in March, were part of the process to ensure it could "continue to grow and develop".

A University of Sussex statement said: "We believe that almost all the changes can take place through natural staff turnover and through the four voluntary schemes which were consulted on with the unions and which have been available to staff at risk since March."

It added that it expected to be able to achieve the changes without any compulsory redundancies in most areas.

The union's announcement comes as its members are balloted over whether to implement an academic boycott against the institution.

The union said the University of Sussex faced the possibility of becoming only the second university to be subjected to the ultimate sanction in the row over jobs.

The result of the ballot is expected on 25 June.

If members vote for the boycott it will go to a national committee for approval, and be implemented from 1 September.

An academic boycott would involve the UCU calling on the academic community to shun Sussex through a host of measures, which could include not applying for any advertised jobs at Sussex; not giving lectures at Sussex; and not accepting positions as visiting professors or researchers at Sussex.

'Constructive consultation'

The university is seeking to axe more than 100 staff.

UCU Sussex representative, Paul Cecil, said: "Industrial action is always a last resort but staff here have been left with little option.

"We are taking this action and asking the union to consider an academic boycott because of the prospect of compulsory redundancies being confirmed in the very near future.

"We are also seeking meaningful discussions with management about setting in place adequate safeguards for the future, especially with the worrying prospect of further cuts to come."

The University of Sussex said it was continuing to have "constructive consultation with all three campus trade unions".

"Strike action called by one trade union does not influence our approach nor does it offer positive approaches," it said.

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