Former University of Salford lecturer, Gary Duke, has been hounded in the courts for criticism of the University management, which all began at the height of the campaign against cuts a few years ago.
Since then, around 400 jobs have been lost at the University, student numbers have fallen (probably because of a lack of teaching staff and courses), and the latest lost legal case against Gary Duke, has cost, he reckons, in excess of £100,000 (see here for full details).
Meanwhile, the rent on Salford University's new campus at MediaCityUK is draining over £2million a year from budgets (see here), with many staff blaming this for the cuts during last year's one day strike against compulsory redundancies (see here).
Now, in a further bid to slash finances at the troubled University, management is proposing to change the terms and conditions of staff who may suffer by losing their jobs in the next round of staff cuts.
Salford University already holds the record for the highest number of redundancy consultations of any UK university. Now the changes to those redundancy terms include imposing new reduced minimum standards for the length of the consultation period from 90 days to 45 days when more than 100 staff are affected, and the exclusion of staff on fixed term contracts from severance arrangements. A move labelled by UNISON as "a low in industrial relations"…
"These are unnecessary changes in the legal framework for collective redundancy consultation" says UNISON's Regional Lead for Higher Education, Theresa Griffin
"UNISON totally shares the disappointment and concern of the lecturers union UCU, regarding the delivery and content of these announcements; they represent a low in local industrial relations" she adds "It is very disappointing to be presented with announcements without any advance warning or proper consultation with the recognised unions."
UNISON's University of Salford Branch Secretary, Michele Barnes adds…"Staff morale is at an all time low after years of successive redundancies in different parts of the university. This most recent change will be the last straw for many of our members and was apparent with over two hundred staff turning out at our members meeting with UCU."
Expect more days of action to follow last year's strike…