Universities urged not to withhold staff pay
UNIVERSITIES LOOKING to exploit the law to withhold large sums of money from staff involved in industrial action are storing up problems for the future and could prolong strike action, the University and College Union (UCU) has warned.
Staff at 61 universities, including Leeds, Sheffield, York and Hull, returned to work this morning after five days of strike action in a row over pensions.
They are now undertaking action short of a strike (ASOS), which consists of working to contract, not covering for absent colleagues, not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action and not undertaking any voluntary activities. Some universities have told staff they will withhold their entire pay for ASOS. UCU said universities imposing overly punitive measures would annoy members and do nothing to help progress talks due to begin on Monday. The University of Sheffield has said if staff have not rescheduled missed lectures within two days, it will deduct 25 per cent of their salary and after five days will withhold 100 per cent.
A university spokesperson said: “Our longstanding position in relation to partial performance is to reserve the right to deduct pay in a way which is proportionate to the impact on the operation of the university, including on students. This is in line with most other universities. Our priority is an early resolution to secure the future of the Universities Superannuation Scheme pension.”