University of Aberdeen

Staff at the University of Aberdeen have backed plans for industrial action in a dispute over planned job losses.

The university announced back in March it needed to save £10.5m and planned to cut 150 posts.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) Scotland were balloted as a result.

After the ballot closed on Monday, the union said 73% of those who voted backed strike action. And 80% also voted for action short of a strike.

Andrew MacKillop, Aberdeen UCU representative, said: “Members have made it quite clear that they reject the job losses proposed by the university.

“Strike action is always a last resort but we can’t sit back and see jobs lost with the accompanying damage to the student experience and the reputation of the university.”

In a statement, the university said it was disappointed that the union had vote for strike action “in the midst of ongoing dialogue”.

It added: “According to the results of the ballot, 263 UCU members voted in favour of strike action, representing 12.5% of our total academic and academic-related workforce.

“The UCU had asked for assurance that the university would rule out compulsory redundancies as it seeks to make savings of £10.5m.

“We were unable to give that assurance, although we are working tirelessly to achieve the savings we need through voluntary measures as far as possible, and are pursuing a range of additional options to increase our efficiency as a world-leading university.”