University of Wolverhampton refuses to pay strike staff

The University of Wolverhampton is one of a number of UK universities refusing to pay back money to staff who walked out in a two-hour strike, it was revealed today.

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Staff took the action during a recent bitter pay dispute.

The University and College Union (UCU) said of the 35 universities that threatened to dock a full day's pay for the strike, Wolverhampton was among 26 who still hadn't paid their staff.

It called the decision 'unlawful' and has threatened legal action against the universities.

However the University of Wolverhampton said its response to strike action was proportionate. Strikes took place earlier this year across the UK.

UCU said it had written to the vice-chancellors and principals at the 26 universities who say they will take a full day's pay demanding the money is returned, or the threat to deduct it is lifted. The union said that if universities still refused to pay the money back that they would seek redress through the courts.

UCU regional official Anne O'Sullivan, said: "We have written to the vice-chancellor and told him to pay back any money taken.

"His hard-working staff took industrial action in a legitimate attempt to reverse years of declining pay.

"To be treated so poorly by your employer leaves an incredibly bitter taste in the mouth." The UK-wide dispute was resolved at the start of this month when UCU members voted to accept a two per cent pay rise.

That vote took place just days before a marking boycott was due to start. During the two-hour strikes 35 universities said they would dock a full day's pay from staff who took part.

Since the end of the dispute a number of universities who had threatened to deduct a full day's pay have said they will not make the full deduction or will pay the extra deductions back. The 26 universities still threatening a full day's docking represent 17.5 per cent of the UK institutions hit by the action.

Vice Chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton, Professor Geoff Layer, said: "We were absolutely clear about our position from the outset. UCU campaigned for this action to cause the maximum possible disruption to our students and we feel our response is proportionate. We would like to thank the 85 per cent of our workforce who continued to work as normal."

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