UCU accuses St Andrews University of threatening strike staff with cutting maternity leave
According to UCU basic rights for staff have been threatened
The University and Colleges Union (UCU) has offered a response to the letter from the Senior Leadership Team of the University outlining their policy on the strikes.
The full UCU response can be found here.
The UCU have outlined that striking staff have been threatened with the removal of key workers' rights, should their preferred pension scheme be adopted.
According to the UCU, "you have to choose between ‘family friendly policies’(i.e. maternity pay) and your pension". The UCU argues that this demonstrates the commitment to staffing "diversity and inclusion" by the University "may not be as deep as they claim".
A lecturer at Leicester University, Dr Chris Grocott, has accused the university of making a "threat to research on inclusivity and diversity", labelling it "madness".
St. Andrews have apparently issued this to staff. Threats to clear promotion procedures; rewarding staff for good work; mentoring of staff; and nursery facilities, if #USSstrike is successful. Even a threat to research on inclusivity and diversity. What kind of madness is this?? pic.twitter.com/0D8xMF4fID
— Chris Grocott (@DrChrisGrocott) March 3, 2018
Dr Grocott has received support from academics across the country, many of whom have commented that St Andrews is "not for them", nor would it be inclusive or diverse enough to attract them.
The biggest problem with this letter is that it confirms to under-represented groups in academia that @univofstandrews is not for them. Their commitment to diversity is so paper thin they confirm it will be disappear with a bad set of financial figures. https://t.co/jL4Bk5wskK
— Simon J Dixon (@WoodinRivers) March 3, 2018
The University has not made these alleged threats clear to students, with mention only regarding a reducing of staffing levels (if the UCU pension scheme were to succeed).
However, there have been comments made by lecturers at other universities that this is simply making St Andrews inaccessible to those from a working-class background.