Stirling University staff to strike over pay deductions
Staff at the University of Stirling are to protest against pay deductions imposed for participating in a marking and assessment boycott.
The boycott earlier this year was part of a broader dispute over pay and working conditions.
It resulted in a 50 percent reduction in the wages of academic staff involved.
This industrial action will span three weeks, coinciding with the beginning of the academic year and students’ return to campus.
From 11am today (Monday, September 11) until Friday, September 22, staff will picket.
It’ll follow a nationwide action from Monday, September 25 to Friday, September 29.
The initial two weeks of the strike will centre on the contentious pay deductions.
The University and College Union (UCU) has criticised it as “disproportionate.”
UCU contends the penalties were excessive and unjust.
The union said they didn’t reflect the time staff spent on marking and assessment activities during the boycott.
Stirling stands out in Scotland for its prolonged enforcement of pay cuts.
However, other institutions in the region either imposed lesser penalties or entirely waived them.
These deductions have impacted lower-paid staff, particularly amid a cost-of-living crisis.
“Staff want to be welcoming new students”
Mary Senior, Scotland official UCU, said: “Stirling University management has brought an unprecedented 15 days of strike action at the start of the new academic year on the university and our students by taking a hard line stance on relations with their own workers.
“Other employers have limited deductions, but Stirling university’s belligerent approach is deeply disappointing.
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“Staff want to be welcoming new students.
“The last thing we want to be doing is taking strike action now.”
A spokesperson for the University of Stirling said: “The university is disappointed that industrial action is taking place.
“Our focus is on ensuring our new and returning students are warmly welcomed to the university over the coming days and disruption is minimal.
“Marking and the facilitation of assessments form part of the contractual duties of teaching staff and are fundamental to the progress of our students.
“The small number of staff who participated in the marking and assessment boycott, as part of sector-wide industrial action, were advised prior to the action that part of their pay would be withheld if they chose not to mark or assess work.”