The University has cancelled promotions to Principal Lecturer, has demoted a number of part-time lecturers to demonstrator status (unilaterally reclassifying lecturer work as demonstrating), and is pushing through compulsory redundancies in a School which has failed to implement a recently signed workload allocation agreement.
When challenged on these issues, the Vice Chancellor said, 'It is the University’s position that it does not require the agreement of the UCU in respect of these issues.' She now wants the UCU to sign away its negotiating rights to a whole range of issues relating to the terms and conditions of academic staff. The plan is clearly to marginalise the union in advance of large-scale job losses and wholesale changes to contracts.
Brighton UCU plans a rapidly escalating campaign of industrial action to confront this threat to effective trade unionism at the institution. Next week's two-day strike will be followed by a three-day strike a fortnight later and further action as necessary.