Industrial action at a Scottish university has been cancelled after an agreement was reached to resolve a dispute over planned job cuts. 

Heriot-Watt University and the University and College Union (UCU) have been in detailed consultation since early August regarding the proposal to axe over 100 jobs.  

Early in the consultation process agreement was reached to open a voluntary redundancy programme and to explore other ways to avoid potential compulsory cuts.

Following progress made via this voluntary process, the university has indicated that the ongoing change programme will continue without the need for compulsory redundancies.  

On this basis, agreement has been reached to resolve the dispute and UCU has cancelled the industrial action, which was scheduled to commence from Tuesday.  

The agreement sets out these commitments from the University and UCU, with both parties committing to working together to build their approach to partnership working. 

This will be aligned to the strategic goals of the University and to the Fair Work agenda as set out by the Scottish Government, working alongside the other recognised trade unions to ensure timely engagement on matters of interest to all colleagues. 

Professor Mark Biggs, Vice Principal and Provost, said: “The University and UCU have worked closely together with very regular dialogue to support colleagues and students through the current challenging times arising from the COVID19 situation. We are confident that this agreement, which resolves the formal dispute between us, marks a positive step forward for the whole University Community.”

George Bruce, Heriot-Watt UCU branch president, said: “Staff are relieved the threat to jobs is removed, and that we can now focus on providing the learning, student support and research that is so important to students, staff and the wider community.  We are pleased that this agreement acknowledges the important role of trade unions and Fair Work as we move forward.”