‘There were no requirements to deduct pay’: Lancs UCU calls out the uni

The UCU was handing out fliers to prospective students and families during Lancaster’s open day

Lancaster UCU was present at Lancaster University’s first open day of the year this Saturday 1st July.

UCU members were seen picketing on Bigforth Drive, handing leaflets to prospective students and their parents in passing cars, and on the North and South Spines throughout the day.

This action follows the announcement of strike dates in June and July, which coincides with the University’s open days on the 1st and 15th July.

The leaflets, handed out to prospective students and their parents, highlight the ongoing issues fought by the UCU. It details the reasons for the strikes, including the pay cuts of 25 per cent since 2009 and pension cuts of 35 per cent. It also focuses on how universities “ended 2020-21 with £2.4bn more cash in their bank than they started with”.

The second leaflet also provided information about the Marking and Assessment Boycott, announced in April, which prospective students may not be aware of. It describes how “despite there being no requirement for universities to deduct any pay at all, Lancaster University [has] chosen to disproportionately penalise staff for taking action with the 50 per cent cut”.

The leaflet also focuses on the negative impact of the University’s “no detriment” policy, stating it “abandons standards of quality assurance and risks seeing our university become a degree mill to churn out certificates”. This emphasis on the no detriment policy’s disadvantages highlights the impact the industrial action is having on students, and pre-empts that action such as strikes and marking boycotts will be ongoing when the students attending the open day start university in 2024.

The leaflet ended with the call to action: “Stand with Lancaster UCU to demand: No devalued grades for students. No disproportionate deductions for staff.”

Lancaster University was contacted for comment.

Related articles recommended by this writer: