DMU Vice-Chancellor speaks about upcoming strikes

By Oliver Taylor

De Montfort University interim Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andy Collop has issued a statement to students via email on the upcoming University and College Union’s Industrial Action.

Strikes are scheduled to occur for 14 total days over the next five weeks, starting this Thursday.

andy collop
DMU Vice-Chancellor Andy Collop. Photo via DMU

The strikes centre on four primary disputes: pay, equality, casualisation and workloads.

Professor Collop’s statement yesterday(MonFEB17) addressed the university’s plan to minimise the impact on students and strides DMU has made in equality and pay in recent years.

He said: “My main priority is to minimise the impact of strike action, and ‘action short of a strike’ (i.e. members working strictly to their contracts), on you and this is something I will be monitoring closely as the action progresses. The duties that will not be covered are: 

•       covering for absent colleagues

•       rescheduling lectures or classes that are cancelled due to strike action

•       sharing materials relating to lectures or classes cancelled as a result of strike action

•       undertaking voluntary activities.

“I understand this will be an unsettling and frustrating time for you and you have many questions on this may impact your studies and learning outcomes.

“While we of course recognise the legal right of employees to take industrial action, we will do everything we can to ensure that you experience minimal disruption to your study as a consequence.”

In 2018 data from the university showed that DMU’s median and mean gender pay gaps in 2018 were 2.6 per cent and 11.9 per cent respectively compared to sector averages of 14.8 per cent and 15.1 per cent. In 2019, the pay gaps were further reduced to 2.2 per cent and 11.2 per cent.

“There is of course more we can do in the other areas (equality and casualisation) but, for example, we don’t use zero-hours contracts and we’re already paying the ‘real’ living wage,” Collop said.

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