A STRIKE by members of the University and College Union (UCU) has been called off after a Scottish university has withdrawn the threat of compulsory redundancies.

University of Aberdeen staff had intended to walk out on six days in March due to cuts in the modern languages department.

The university has been running a voluntary severance scheme, and the union said that, while it was sad to see people leaving the university, "the fact that no-one is being forced out was a win for members and their willingness to take strike action" to stop compulsory redundancies.

The university is set to eliminate single-honours languages degrees, including Gaelic, and floating proposals to merge several schools - and officials said 26 members of staff were at risk of losing their jobs.

The National: UCU strike

However, the university has now said that is no longer the case and have removed the possibility of compulsory redundancies in departments after "receiving a strong set of proposals from staff in modern languages to grow income and reform the curriculum".

Aberdeen university UCU branch chair, Dr Rachel Shanks, said: “I want to thank every single member of our UCU branch who voted for strike action and who stood firm against the university’s threat to force colleagues out of the university.

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"It’s good that, in the end, university senior managers listened to staff, students and the wider community, and have withdrawn the threat of compulsory redundancies. 

"Hopefully university staff can now focus on teaching and supporting students, carrying out research and knowledge exchange and all the other activities that our members do.”

Senior vice-principal, professor Karl Leydecker, said: "Together with clear signs of progress towards cost savings, we see a sound basis for future academic and financial sustainability, which we will continue to monitor for effectiveness.

"We know that the ongoing uncertainty has been extremely difficult for staff affected, as well as for our wider community.

"The conclusion of the modern languages consultation and the removal of the risk of redundancy and the end of this dispute with UCU, provides an opportunity to move forward positively as a modern languages community of staff and students."