Falmouth University experiences strike due to subsidiary company

Falmouth University staff commence three-day strike due to new employment arrangements.

The University and College Union (UCU) expressed dissatisfaction with Falmouth University’s choice to hire new academics through a subsidiary company.

The university expressed deep regret over the decision to proceed with the strike action, acknowledging its potential impact on students. Meanwhile, the union announced that picket lines would be set up each day during the strike.

Over a hundred academic staff from both the Falmouth and Penryn campuses are participating in the strike action, as stated by UCU.

The union asserted that employing staff through Falmouth Staffing Ltd (FSL), a subsidiary company, posed a risk to national bargaining agreements between unions and the University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA).

They regarded it as the initial step towards undermining the hard-fought national agreements.

They highlighted that the “fragmentation” had already impacted new academic staff hired since September 2021, resulting in them being placed on a significantly inferior private pension scheme.

Tom Scott, co-chairperson of Falmouth UCU branch, emphasized the significance of the issue, stating, “This is a critical matter as it jeopardizes the major agreements established between universities and unions over the past three decades.”

Additionally, he stated, “The university mistakenly presumed that existing staff would not object to the use of a subsidiary company for new hires. However, being part of a union is all about solidarity, and we are genuinely impressed by the number of staff members who joined the strike today and stood in solidarity with their newer colleagues at the picket line.”

The union expressed its hope that the three-day strike would serve as a clear demonstration to the management, highlighting the gravity with which staff perceive this issue.

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The union affirmed that its members were reluctant to engage in further strikes but remained willing to do so if necessary.

The university stated its readiness to engage in constructive negotiations in order to resolve this local dispute.

Source : bbc.com