Solidarity for the Project SHAPE dispute

This page features messages of solidarity for the University of Liverpool UCU branch, in support of our fight against redundancies in Health and Life Sciences.

Thank you to every individual, every union branch, and every organisation, for taking the time to send us a message of support. Your solidarity means a lot to our members, and gives us the confidence we need for the battles ahead.

We received this message of solidarity from our sister branch of UCU at Liverpool John Moores University.

LJMU UCU sends solidarity to our siblings at UoL. The redundancies are a damning endictment of a management obsessed with marketisation and profit, and we give you our total support in the industrial action you have embarked on. Whenever you want our support, however you want our support, we are with you all the way and we’re looking forward to seeing you on your picket lines, both in person and virtual. Solidarity is everything.


We received this message of solidarity from UCU Yorkshire and Humberside Region.

Dear Liverpool UCU

On behalf of the Yorkshire and Humberside Region we are writing to send solidarity and support in your current strike against compulsory redundancies. Your struggle is our struggle; we need you to win. Your victory will strengthen and inspire every other UCU branch and member. And, importantly, it sends a warning to our managements to think twice about their own plans to use the pandemic as an excuse to slash jobs because UCU members can and will stand up and stop them.

In solidarity
Lesley and Kathryn

Lesley McGorrigan
Kathryn Dutton
Outgoing and Incoming Regional Secretaries
Yorkshire and Humberside UCU

We have received messages of solidarity from the following UCU branches and individuals in them:

  • UCU Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU): “we are with you all the way” – see their full statement above
  • UCU Liverpool Hope University
  • UCU Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA)
  • UCU Liverpool Community College
  • UCU Lancaster
  • UCU Chester
  • UCU University Centre Shrewsbury (Chester Uni)
  • UCU Sheffield University
  • UCU Sheffield Hallam
  • UCU University of Sheffield International College
  • UCU Royal College of Arts (RCA)
  • UCU Goldsmiths: “Goldsmiths UCU stands shoulder to shoulder with you in the fight against redundancies… We salute your courage and wish you success in your action.”
  • UCU Royal Holloway (RHUL)
  • UCU Ulster
  • UCU Northern Ireland Region
  • UCU Newcastle: “Newcastle University UCU offers its solidarity and friendship to our colleagues at Liverpool University UCU in your courageous stand against redundancies.”
  • UCU United Colleges Group (College of North West London branch)
  • UCU New City College (London: Poplar)
  • UCU New City College (London: Tower Hamlets)
  • UCU City College Group
  • UCU City and Islington college: “Solidarity to all of you at Liverpool from City and Islington College”
  • UCU Lewisham College
  • UCU Southwark College: “Solidarity Peta and Liverpool UCU from Lewisham and Southwark Colleges”
  • UCU Croydon college
  • UCU London Region
  • UCU Novus (prison education): “On behalf of the Novus Prison Education branch we offer our support and solidarity in your current dispute. It is only through Trade Unionism and solidarity that [we can give] a credible challenge to job losses and the shrinking of the education sector.”
  • UCU Norwich
  • UCU Heriot Watt
  • UCU Brighton: “the amount you originally donated to us for our fight we are now returning back to you as you are the ones fighting for all of us right now”
  • UCU Manchester University
  • UCU Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU)
  • UCU University of the Arts London (UAL)
  • UCU Strathclyde
  • UCU Edinburgh
  • UCU Imperial
  • UCU London South Bank (LSBU)
  • UCU Leicester
  • UCU Yorkshire and Humberside Region: “Your struggle is our struggle; we need you to win” – see their full statement above
  • UCU Yorkshire and Humberside UCU retired members branch
  • UCU York
  • UCU Bath
  • UCU Bournemouth
  • UCU Bournemouth co-chair: “It is beyond belief that the University of Liverpool is planning to sack 47 members in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. Battles such as yours cannot be won alone, the trade union movement needs to come together to defend jobs in Higher Education, for we are all at risk. Your fight is our fight.”
  • UCU Scotland Exec
  • UCU Scotland president
  • UCU Dundee
  • UCU Leeds University
  • UCU University of the Arts London (UAL)
  • UCU Southern Region
  • UCU Reading: “Huge solidarity from the Southern region and Reading UCU”
  • UCU Greenwich
  • UCU University of South Wales
  • UCU Birmingham City University: “We are very grateful for all the support & inspiration your branch have provided over many years and we stand with you. Please let us know any actions we can take to support you in your fight.”
  • UCU West Midlands Region
  • UCU Oxford
  • UCU Cambridge
  • UCU Open University
  • UCU University College London (UCL)
  • UCU Queen Mary (QMUL)
  • UCU SOAS: “your strike is a testament to the profound courage and collective power of workers when they move and struggle together” – see their full statement below
  • UCU Queen’s University Belfast
  • UCU Bedfordshire: “Keep up the fight comrades and stay strong”
  • UCU Sunderland

We received this message of solidarity from UCU SOAS.

SOAS UCU stands in solidarity with Liverpool UCU and especially those staff impacted by the brutal cuts being imposed by the University of Liverpool. These cuts are particularly cruel in the middle of the pandemic and set a worrying precedent for the sector as a whole. In the face of this attack on jobs and conditions, your strike is a testament to the profound courage and collective power of workers when they move and struggle together. Your strike shows that, despite all of the absurd metrics and callous logics deployed by the university managers, the university is nothing without you. Your strike is a beacon to all workers across the sector, everywhere, fighting for better working conditions and a better life. We are proud to be part of the same union as you and stand with you in your struggle.

We received this message from the college lecturers’ union in Scotland, EIS-FELA, shortly after their successful strikes to fight off outrageous changes to their terms and conditions.

Dear colleagues,

I am writing on behalf of the National Reps for EIS-FELA (Educational Institute of Scotland – Further Education Lecturers’ Association) to express our solidarity with your campaign to stop your university making 47 academics redundant. The notion that staff in Health and Life Sciences are not essential in the middle of a pandemic, or that full educational provision is not vital for the life chances of students most impacted by that pandemic is preposterous.

The solidarity that we in EIS-FELA received from numerous UCU branches in our national strike against replacement of lecturers was extremely welcome. It proved very important in helping secure our victory. Messages of support and donations gave our members a real sense that we were not fighting alone and that our cause – the defence of education – was understood more widely and was a just one.

Good luck with your campaign, and please let us know if there are things we can do to help you.

In solidarity,

EIS-FELA national reps

We have received messages of solidarity from the following unions and individuals in them:

  • University of Liverpool NUS: “We stand in solidarity with our students, staff and the UCU’s action that they are taking against the redundancies.” – read their full statement here
  • University of Liverpool Unison
  • University of Bournemouth Unison
  • SOAS Unison – university support staff
  • EIS-FELA – Scottish FE college lecturers’ union – see their message above
  • Liverpool TUC
  • Chesterfield and District TUC: “The Workers United will Never be Defeated”
  • TUC North West Public Services Committee
  • The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT): “We salute the members of the UCU at the University of Liverpool” – read their full statement below
  • Liverpool PCS – Public and Commercial Services union
  • Northwest regional NEU – National Education Union
  • Knowsley Unison – public service union
  • Unite 567 branch – Liverpool community branch
  • CWU – postal workers Union
  • CWU president elect
  • CWU Warrington
  • NW Unison retired members
  • Halton NEU – National Education Union: “An injury to one is an injury to all.”
  • Wakefield NEU – National Education Union
  • IWW – Industrial Workers of the World
  • IWW – Industrial Workers of the World Vienna: “I am sending you our support from Vienna! In solidarity!”

We received this message of solidarity from our sister union in Ireland, the Irish Federation of University Teachers.

The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) is deeply concerned at the threat of redundancy under which our colleagues in the University of Liverpool are living.

We understand that senior management at the University intended to make over 30 academic staff members in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences redundant as part of a restructuring exercise titled ‘Project SHAPE’.

This is a ‘sham’ redundancy, in that the University is not ceasing or diminishing any activities. It has targeted a percentage of its teaching and research staff for collective underperformance on the basis that they have not met research income targets… This is a practice that is known as ‘rank and yank’ and is so reviled that even employers such as Amazon have stopped using it.

We salute the members of the UCU at the University of Liverpool who have recorded a record turn out and a record vote for industrial action in their ballot. 84% voted for strike action.

The Irish Federation of University Teachers pledges its full support…for the industrial action taken by colleagues at the University of Liverpool.

We have received messages of solidarity from the following organisations and individuals in them:

  • UCU Solidarity Movement
  • Merseyside Pensioners Association
  • University of Liverpool Labour Students
  • Bradford University students
  • Liverpool Marxist Society (student group)
  • Keep Our NHS Public Merseyside
  • Labour councillors in Liverpool
  • Liverpool City Region branch of the Socialist Health Association
  • International Labor Network of Solidarity and Struggle
  • Central Sindical e Popular Conlutas (union movement), Brazil
  • Greenbank Labour Party
  • Nurses United (Core Leadership Team member)
  • Merseyside Socialist Education Association
  • Liverpool SWP
  • Red Fightback
  • Nottingham Socialist Party
  • Merseyside People Before Profit
  • People Before Profit (nationally)
  • Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital Campaign
  • Strike Map: “We would like to send our full solidarity greetings to all taking action”

Thank you to everyone who made a donation when registering for the strike rally on 10.05.21. You helped us to put an extra £348 into the strike fund!

We would also like to thank all the individuals who have made generous donations to the strike fund, along with the pledges and donations from:

  • UCU University College London (UCL)
  • UCU Heriot Watt
  • UCU Ulster
  • UCU Imperial
  • UCU Royal College of Arts
  • UCU Scotland
  • UCU Newcastle
  • UCU Leeds
  • UCU Brighton
  • UCU Queen’s University Belfast
  • UCU Manchester University
  • UCU York
  • UCU Sunderland
  • UCU Lancaster
  • UCU Bournemouth
  • UCU Liverpool John Moores
  • UCU London Region
  • Unison University of Liverpool
  • NEU Liverpool Region
  • TUC Liverpool
  • Merseyside Socialist Education Association

To read about our campaign against the redundancies, visit

Please send messages of solidarity and invitations for speakers to your meetings to

Please make donations to our strike fund here:

UCU Liverpool banner with slogan "You'll never march alone"

UCU Liverpool banner with slogan “You’ll never march alone”

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