Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Wednesday, 24 February 2010

University of Leeds strikes suspended after talks

Protest march in Leeds
Protesters marched through the centre of Leeds earlier this month

Three one-day strikes by staff at the University of Leeds have been cancelled after the immediate threat of compulsory redundancies was withdrawn.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) are campaigning against compulsory redundancies and planned savings of £35m by the institution.

The UCU had announced strikes for 25 February and 2 and 4 March.

But the university and union said the strike action had been suspended after "very good progress" was made in talks.

The UCU said plans to restructure the university's Faculty of Biological Sciences (FBS) would lead to hundreds of staff losing their jobs.

'Close to agreement'

It announced the strike dates on 11 February after a ballot of the UCU Leeds membership voted in favour of industrial action.

The Youth Fight for Jobs organisation has held demonstrations in Leeds in support of the university workers.

In a joint statement the UCU and the university said they were "close to an agreement" after talks through conciliation service Acas this week.

They added: "The two sides are still discussing the position in the FBS, but have made good progress towards agreement.

"The university has agreed that, in the case of FBS, the post-restructuring review process will be extended to the end of January 2011 and that no compulsory redundancies can be proposed before the end of that process.

"The two sides have agreed an intensive series of meetings over the next fortnight."



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