Intimidation of union members at Ulster University
Management at Ulster University have adopted an anti-union stance, sending staff an intimidating email threatening punitive action against them if they take part in lawful industrial action over pension cuts. The union members will observe action short of a strike but management have threatened to dock staff their full pay during the period of the dispute.
In an email sent to staff, the management have said:
Where an individual member of staff chooses to take this action, the breach of contract will lead the University to withhold 100% of pay, at a daily rate of 1/365th of annual salary from the date on which you begin to participate in industrial action short of a strike.
UCU members across the UK will implement a marking boycott beginning on the 6th November but otherwise they will teach as normal, as well as attending to their other administrative duties. But management at Ulster expect its staff to perform these jobs voluntarily:
If you take part in action short of a strike in the form of a marking and assessment boycott but perform the rest of your duties as normal, this would be at your discretion and the University will be under no obligation to pay you at all for any work done during the period in which you participate in this industrial action. Those services you provide during the period, whether in the University, at home, or elsewhere, will be voluntary on your part and will not be paid.
The bullying email comes at a time when other university managements have publicly expressed their concerns about the proposed pension cuts.
The anti-union behaviour of Ulster is all the more perverse since the union and management are united in attempting to get a better deal from DEL for both universities in Northern Ireland.