Lecturers to receive pay for failing to reschedule class due to strikes

The principal confirmed this morning, lecturers will now receive pay if they fail to reschedule cancelled classes due to strike action.

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Photo: Sammi Cardi

Principal Sally Mapstone has confirmed that the University’s policy on ASOS has changed and lecturers will now receive pay if they fail to reschedule cancelled classes due to strike action.

The news came on Monday morning in an email to all staff and students of the University of St Andrews.

The Principal said, “Having considered all matters in the round, I believe that our current policy to deduct pay at 100% for failure to reschedule classes cancelled due to strike action is inconsistent with this University’s values and the store we place on our shared sense of community.”

The Principal specified that this policy was in place to “minimise disruption” to students during industrial action, and staff were aware of this before the UCU strikes began in February.

She continued, “I believe that in our current circumstances the policy itself is unfair and clearly counter-productive, and I am sorry for the distress it has caused to our staff, students, and alumni. I have accordingly asked our HR Department to amend our ASOS policy with immediate effect, to make it clear that pay will not be deducted for Action Short of a Strike in this regard.”

This policy change comes after the UCU warned on 1 March that universities who threatened pay deductions from striking staff could prolong strikes, which included the University of St Andrews at the time.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said, “Universities that wish to exploit the law and punish their staff as much as possible are storing up problems for the future and risk prolonging the dispute. … Universities will need that goodwill when this dispute is all over, so it seems foolish to find ways now to maximise the punishment of their staff.”

The warning on 1 March also mentioned St Andrews, stating that the University of St Andrews informed staff that “it will deduct 100 per cent of salary for any form of action short of a strike.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is just factually incorrect. They are not going to be paid for days when they are striking (although they should, but I’ll get onto that later). Originally, the VC was threatening to cut 100% of the pay for staff members taking industrial action short of a strike (ASOS). This means they would have been doing exactly what their contract says, but not being paid anything. This just goes to show that the staff goes above and beyond in the first place. Typically, they cover classes for other lecturers, reschedule their lectures and do extra voluntary work simply because they love their job. They were going to stop doing this, which again *isn’t in their contract*, but still receive a pay cut of 100% for those days. Therefore, in no way are they being paid for not rescheduling classes as this highly misleading article states.

    I also believe that they do not deserve to have their pay cut so seriously for striking in the first place. While this is sadly based on only anecdotal evidence, I think it likely that it would be backed up by statistics. All of the academic staff on the picket lines (that I talked to) have worked more hours, even during strike weeks, than their contract specifies. One particularly cruel example was last week, when one lecturer on a 37-hour contract worked 46 hours between Thursday and Sunday, yet is still losing 3 days of wages.

    This article should be removed before it does more damage to the already-dwindling reputation of The Saint.

  2. This is an extremely misleading headline. Lecturers are not ‘receiving pay FOR failure to reschedule classes.’ This makes a mockery of the UCU stance on Action Short of a Strike and Strike Action. UCU members are docked pay at 1/365 for every day they are on strike. They are now (rightly) receiving 100% of their NORMAL salary during ASOS, which was threatened to be removed by the University. Your headline makes it sound as though they are raking in monies to NOT teach. Totally and wildly inaccurate.

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