Ulster University 'Lock-Out': Workers Solidarity Protest
Solidarity with University staff at Magee this morning. Bosses at Ulster University effectively declared a 'Lock Out' of their staff who are taking action short of industrial action in the form of a Marking & Assessment Boycott.
A spokesperson for the Industrial Workers of the World in Derry from this mornings picket line said "We are here with UCU members and other trade union activists who want to show our solidarity with workers who have been effectively locked out of their jobs by management.
"We have been informed that bosses told staff participating involved in action short of strike action, such as the Marking and Assessment boycott, then "they have have withdrawn their labour and will not be remunerated". This is for want of a better word a lock-out of staff by another name.
"We stand in solidarity with the University workers and demand that this effective lock-out is withdrawn immediately and get back to the negotiation table with the unions involved and address the issues that staff need addressing."
On the picket lines this morning at Magee University in Derry
UCU members at Ulster University will receive no salary from Monday. Staff at the University received an email on Thursday informing them of the intention to impose 100% pay deductions for anyone who participates in the planned marking and assessment boycott.
The email included this paragraph: "The University does not accept partial delivery of contractual responsibilities and will therefore deduct 100% of salary for each day that a member of staff participates in a marking and assessment boycott. If a member of staff is participating in a marking and assessment boycott, we do not require them to undertake any other duties. If they are not undertaking their marking and assessment duties, then they have withdrawn their labour and will not be remunerated."
UCU members are currently in dispute with Ulster University and its national representative bodies in The Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) and Universities UK (UUK). The dispute is in relation to pension cuts (around 40% for the earliest career workers), unsustainable workloads, casualisation, inequality, and pay.
Lecturer contracts consist of teaching, of which marking and assessment is a proportion, research, and administration. Ulster University last week publicised the excellent and world leading evaluation of UU staff's research in the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF).
Some members are on a range of professional services contracts which include a proportion of marks processing. UCU strongly urges Ulster University to rescind this deplorable threat and put pressure on UCEA and UUK to resolve the dispute so industrial action is not needed.
If you would like to urge the vice-chancellor to do this, you can write to him on firstname.lastname@example.org