On the eve of pensions strike, Lancaster UCU members were cheered by a report in that day’s Times that VC Mark Smith had joined ten other university leaders in calling for a return to national negotiations. This represented a fundamental change in his position but, alas, it proved to be fake news. A couple of hours later he was asked about his change of heart and he denied the story emphatically. He did not see any value in calling for a resumption of talks because the two sides were too far apart. And anyway, Lancaster could not afford what UCU was asking for.

See subtext 174, out next Thursday, 1st March, for a full report.

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