Leeds & West Yorkshire

Union claims 'victory' in University of Bradford jobs row

People with placards on a picket line Image copyright Unison
Image caption Unison said it believed its strike action led to management "changing their minds over redundancies"

A union is claiming victory in a row over 250 planned job cuts at the University of Bradford after four days of strike action.

Unison said there had been a climb-down in the number of proposed redundancies affecting administration and support workers at the university.

About 50 of its members first walked out last Wednesday.

The university said there was a revised strategy and compulsory redundancies were "unlikely".

Unison said it believed "as few as 8" of its members are at risk and about "a dozen" were taking voluntary redundancy, despite the university "refusing to reveal how many staff have been made redundant".

It said the industrial action, which ran for three consecutive days and also on Tuesday, was a result of the management's "refusal to communicate the number of jobs" being cut, which affected cleaners and security workers.

Image copyright Unison
Image caption Dozens of Unison members were on the picket line dressed in Halloween costumes on the first day of strike action, which started on 31 October

Leonie Sharp, Unison's regional organiser, said she believed the strike action led to management "changing their minds over redundancies".

She said MPs Judith Cummins and Imran Hussain had written to the university "urging them to enter talks to avoid a strike".

"But as no clear explanation has been given to staff or unions, we can only presume that is was our strike action that saved jobs," she added.

The University of Bradford said its priorities were to "protect as many jobs as we can, and to safeguard student experience".

"We have consistently said we did not envisage large-scale compulsory redundancies. However, until we go through the processes we cannot guarantee this."

It added its management remained "committed to fully engaging" with the union.

Earlier this year, vice-chancellor Brian Cantor said the university was experiencing a decrease in applications from the UK and as a result of changes to the government's funding arrangements.

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