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Union brands Staffordshire University one of the "worst employers"

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: May 23, 2014

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STAFFORDSHIRE University has been branded one of the "worst employers" by a trades union after refusing to pay back money to its staff that the union claims was unlawfully deducted.

The University and College Union (UCU) named the minority of UK universities that deducted a full day's pay, or said they would, from staff who walked out in a two-hour stoppage during the recent dispute over pay.

The union said it considered any money taken from staff in excess of the two hours that they were on strike to be an unlawful deduction.

But the university, which has a campus in Stafford, says it stands by its decision.

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UCU has 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.

Staffordshire is joined on the union's hit list by three universities in London, five institutions from Scotland and four in the north-west.

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. At the end of such a protracted, and at times bitter, dispute the university has this opportunity to start to improve relations with their staff."

The UK-wide dispute was resolved at the beginning of May when UCU members voted to accept a 2 per cent pay rise.

A statement from Staffordshire University said: "This decision was not taken lightly and we communicated this stance to our staff in advance of their strike action.

"It is a decision we stand by."

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