The efforts of University and College Union (UCU) members at Aberdeen
University to fight against compulsory redundancies, while growing trade
union membership were recognised by the STUC at their Congress
on Tuesday 19th April.
UCU received the STUC Organising Award for their work
in developing trade union organisation and structures within the
academic staff at Aberdeen University that have the left the branch
better placed to resist attacks on their members and at the same time
raise the profile of UCU within the local trade union movement.
STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith said, “The work of UCU Aberdeen is remarkable given the financial pressures
the higher education sector is under and the University management’s
approach to handling these pressures.
“Avoiding a substantial number
of compulsory redundancies in favour of voluntary severance while
retaining membership levels displays confidence in the branch by staff
at the university and they are continuing to grow their membership by
mapping departments across the university and targeting areas with low
“UCU Aberdeen remains committed to fighting for its
membership and working with other unions on campus, the Aberdeen
University Student’s Association and Aberdeen TUC to challenge the
impact of austerity cuts and the Trade Union Bill on their members.
“Their next challenge is to fight against removal of facility time to
allow UCU to represent their members, a fight the STUC will fully
support. Trade union facility time works for employers as well as
unions; it delivers more harmonious industrial relations, allows for
early dispute resolution and potentially avoids costly litigation for
employers as well as unions.
“We have no doubt that UCU Aberdeen
will challenge this attack all the way and through their continued hard
work make Aberdeen University a better and fairer place for their
members to work”.
Patrick McGuire from Thompsons Solicitors said, “This award shows the importance of trade unions in protecting the
livelihoods of their members and their families. In this case the work
of UCU Aberdeen goes further than that by helping to maintain and
improve the standards of student’s higher education at Aberdeen
University and challenge austerity cuts in the institution”.