The General Secretary of the UCU has personally hit out at Lancaster University's decision to push ahead with deducting the pay of workers who went on strike earlier this year. Other UK universities have decided to waive, postpone, or spread out pay deductions following the UCU's recent strike, as a gesture of goodwill to their staff during the coronavirus pandemic.
Appalled to see my old uni behave like this. Uni staff will be called upon to undertake huge #Covid19 responsibilities; caring for students, transferring teaching online, life saving research, & servicing the NHS. Disgraceful @LancasterUni want staff financially impoverished. https://t.co/FNaulSWrq2— Jo Grady (@DrJoGrady) March 21, 2020
Lancaster UCU members who went on strike can now expect to have up to 14 days' pay deducted from their next paychecks, at a time when the pandemic has plunged many workers and their families into unprecedented financial uncertainty.
In recognition of these exceptional circumstances, Birkbeck, King's College London, and St Andrews universities are among those to have paused the pay deductions indefinitely. Nearby, Edge Hill University has paused the pay deductions until June. But here, Lancaster University management (in the words of the latest subtext) 'seems unusually keen to punish its staff as rapidly as possible.'
Lancaster University's treatment of its workers, especially trade unionists, has come under the spotlight in recent months, due to accusations of endemic management bullying, its widespread use of gagging clauses to silence outgoing staff, and an impending employment tribunal over trade union victimisation.
It's unfortunate, that even in the context of an unprecedented international pandemic, University managers still seem unable to show a bit of humanity towards their employees.