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ANOTHER TWO HUNDRED JOB CUTS AT SALFORD UNIVERSITY
 

Star date: 8th April 2011

A Salford Star Exclusive 

UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD CUTS ANOTHER 218 JOBS – UNIONS THREATEN STRIKES

The University of Salford which is about to spend over £50million on its new MediaCityUK campus, is set to axe another 218 jobs to save £7million, having already made 150 redundancies over the past few years.

The University staff union UCU has responded that any attempt to impose compulsory job cuts will be met with ballots for industrial action.

Full story here…


Having already lost hundreds of jobs to help pay for the move to its new prestige campus at MediaCityUK, the University of Salford is about to lose another 218 staff posts across all departments.

A letter to workers from Salford University staff union UCU states that the job losses in "the current economic environment will exacerbate the risk of unemployment and hardship" adding "The impact upon staff and the local community could be substantial". 

When Salford University announced its first round of 150 redundancies two years ago, it led to protests and The Crescent being blocked off in rush hour (see here and here), with one of the `Save Our Staff' campaigners, Dr Gary Duke, subsequently sacked, barred from University premises and currently fighting a libel action (see here).

Now the UCU is threatening war with Salford University bosses. Its letter to staff states "any attempt to impose compulsory redundancy will be resisted. The position of this Branch remains as it has for the last two years that, should the employer move to make any of our members compulsory redundant, then we will ballot for permission to take industrial action up to and including strike action".

Staff are particularly incensed because Salford University is making these cuts to save £7million, while spending over £50million on the move to its new prestige campus at MediaCityUK (see here).

An original memo on the move from Salford University Registrar, Dr Adrian Graves, stated that the University's ambitious plans will require "significant upfront investments…to optimise opportunities arising from Media City (approximately £40million)"…(see here for more details).

The UCU letter concludes: "The Employer will have explained to you as to why they believe their actions are necessary, and why they need to make £7million in savings.  From our perspective, the employer, as is their legal duty, must do all that they can to mitigate against redundancy, and avoid job loss."

 A staff union meeting on 13th April will decide what form further action will take.

STOP PRESS: 2:30pm 8th April

Salford University has been in touch with the following comment from Keith Watkinson, Executive Director of HR.

"Your reporting of two hundred job cuts is wholly inaccurate. As communicated to the unions and staff, this number relates to the number of roles affected, not the number of jobs that will go. A significant number of new roles are being created through this reorganisation of our professional services and we expect that most of these will be filled by affected staff. In reality, the number of job losses is expected to be significantly lower than the affected figure. We are fully committed to working with the unions and staff to avoid compulsory redundancy where possible."

Salford Star responds:

We don't believe the story is inaccurate. You are still cutting 218 jobs and then, what? Asking staff to apply for different jobs? At different pay and conditions? You have also issued a formal notice of redundancies under `Section 188(4) of the TULRA (92)'. 

 

Tom wrote
at 9:41:39 PM on Monday, April 11, 2011
TYPICAL SALFORD...LETS RE-BRAND AND RE-BRAND AND RE-BRAND
 
Dr Gary Duke wrote
at 3:30:03 AM on Sunday, April 10, 2011
This is typical HR speak, lots of words... says nothing. Watkinson states that the Star's figure of 218 is 'wholly inaccurate' yet neatly avoids stating how many jobs will be lost or what types of jobs in tranche 1 as it's referred to. I have been told that they are academic and non-academic jobs. Further, there is at least another tranche to come according to union briefings. Will Watkinson guarantee that every for every role that disappears, every person affected by this will be redeployed on exactly the same terms and conditions they currently enjoy? I also have a second question that I'm sure Mr Watkinson can answer? I recall when former VC Michael Harloe retired in 2009, he received from the University £30,000 for leaving one month early. This was on top of his generous retirement package. If any staff decide to take redundancy and leave one month early (clearing it personally with Mr Watkinson of course), will they get same £30,000 one off payment on top of their redundancy payments? Given the University's commitment to equality, this shouldn't present too much of a problem should it? If it's good enough for the VC then it's good enough for all staff. This cannot and mustn't be ignored. The unions need to step up to the mark and provide the leadership necessary to save all these jobs. After the 140-150 job losses under Project Headroom, I stated then that there would be more job cuts in the future. Negotiating jobs away doesn't save jobs for the future, it makes more job cuts likely. There appears to be plenty of money sloshing around at the University. Putting to one side the MediaCity annual rental, another example might serve to enlighten. Last summer University bosses and the University Council voted through an EXTRA £2.6 for the university's new computer/IT systems. This is a massive overspend. Who is directly responsible for it and who is being held to account for it? Answer-no one. Are they saying that a £2.6 million pound overspend is a result of good management? In any economic climate this sort of thing is not acceptable as ultimately ordinary staff are made to pay with their own jobs for these kind of poor management decisions and oversight. I hope the main campus unions take concerted action and after this week's union meetings come together and ballot members for industrial action immediately over these job losses.
 
UoS wrote
at 8:35:04 AM on Friday, April 8, 2011
Well - no surprises here. Remember last time they forced a load of people out under the guise of creating headroom for capital investments, they began recruiting a load of new bullshit middle-managers to non-jobs. Ironically, given that it's him who usually acts as chief enforcer of redundancies, it's Dr Graves who does a lot of the recruiting for these non-jobs. Unfortunately the UCU branch president is somewhat supine and I doubt has the stomach for hard line action. Anybody want to take bets on whether 'undesirables' end up being selected for "voluntary" redundancy? I very much doubt the 'jobs for the boys' crew will be affected by any of this.
 
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