UNIVERSITY lecturers are set to go on strike.

Teaching staff from the University of Brighton will be going on strike next Friday and for two days next term in a dispute over redundancies and the downgrading of staff.

Members of the University and Colleges Union will also stage a protest outside the university’s management board meeting today.

In a statement union said: “Members of the lecturers’ trade union, the UCU, are taking action to defend the jobs, pay and conditions of employment of academic staff at the University of Brighton, and to protect the quality of education we offer.

“This action has become necessary because the management of the university has refused to negotiate with us. The dispute is about three concrete things; demotions of lecturers to ‘demonstrators’, cutting their pay by 70 per cent, redundancies of lecturers while their colleagues have too much work and cancellation of promotions to principal lecturer grade.

“All of these issues involve breaches by the university of agreements negotiated with the UCU on pay, promotions and workloads.

“The quality of the education that students receive is at stake. Students have a right to expect that the staff taking their classes are being paid at least the minimum agreed rate for lecturers. They have the right to be taught by lecturers who are not overworked and who have sufficient time to prepare their classes and assess work.

“Our last wish is to disrupt the education our students receive. But university management’s actions are threatening the quality of the education we provide. “

The university’s ranking in the most recent National Student Satisfaction survey saw it fall 14 places in the past year to 90th in the country.

And last month university bosses had to apologise to staff after accidentally leaking staff salary data.

The university yesterday declined to comment on the latest industrial action. It follows news that the university’s Hastings campus will close.

University of Brighton students union president Hayley Wood said they supported the action, adding: “We do not take this decision lightly and understand that strike action comes as a last resort, which demonstrates the anger and desperate nature of the situation faced by staff and students.

“We believe quality of education is affected when those staff who support us do not receive fair treatment or feel valued. Ultimately, we believe the benefit of staff who are rewarded properly for the fantastic work they do far outweighs two day’s disruption to studies. Our own research shows that students who get the most out of university both in terms of enjoyment and success do so when they are supported by enthusiastic and engaging staff. “