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UK: University lecturers have wages docked in pay dispute

published 7 June 2006 updated 7 June 2006

Striking lecturers at Glasgow University are to have their wages docked as their bosses try to end the deadlock over pay.

The university announced that from Wednesday, members of EI affiliate the University and Colleges Union (UCU*) who are refusing to mark students' exams will have 30 per cent of their pay withheld.

Sir Muir Russell, the university principal, informed staff of the move in a letter yesterday.

A spokeswoman for the university said they had taken the decision "with deep regret". "This is not about punishing lecturers, it's about doing everything we can to help our students," she said.

Bill Stewart, of the UCU's Glasgow University branch, said the move would worsen relations between staff and management.

Meanwhile, staff at Glasgow Caledonian University - which yesterday announced it would cut jobs in order to fund a 13.1 per cent pay rise for lecturers - have accused their bosses of using the pay dispute as a "cover" to justify existing redundancy plans. Dr Nick McKerrell, the convener of the university's combined union committee, said: "We have known that they had plans to cut jobs and we feel they are using the pay dispute as a cover to bring the redundancies in."

Professor Pamela Gillies, the principal, announced on Thursday that it was "inevitable" that the institution would have to cut jobs to meet pay demands. She said that redundancies would be voluntary "wherever possible", but did not rule out the possibility of compulsory lay-offs.

*The UCU was formed by the amalgamation of EI affiliates the AUT and NATFHE on 1st June 2006.