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SALFORD UNI UNION SLAMS MEDIACITYUK
 

Star date: 18th April 2011 

UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD TRADE UNION SLAMS JOB CUTS FOR MEDIACITYUK

"The MediaCityUK project was supposed to reinvigorate the area and provide thousands of jobs… so far we have seen 150 staff at Salford University go in an effort to raise funds to invest in the venture and now another 218 are set to follow them out of the door." UCU regional official, Martyn Moss

Following the Salford Star exclusive story on new job cuts at the University of Salford, staff union UCU has totally laid into the University's new campus at MediaCityUK labelling it a "giant white elephant"…

Full story here…


Last week, members of Salford University trade union, UCU, voted to oppose 218 job losses, blaming the University's "giant white elephant" MediaCityUK  project for the cuts.

Salford Star recently revealed that the University will be paying Peel Media over £20million in rent for its new campus at MediaCityUK, on top of over £30million fit out costs (see here and here).

The University has announced that 218 jobs will be affected in all departments to save £7million, on top of 150 job cuts over the last few years.

"We want to know why so many millions of pounds have been spent on what so far looks like a giant white elephant" says UCU regional official, Martyn Moss "The MediaCityUK project was supposed to reinvigorate the area and provide thousands of jobs. However, so far we have seen 150 staff at Salford University go in an effort to raise funds to invest in the venture and now another 218 are set to follow them out of the door.
 
"Getting rid of staff, who provide much-needed personal contact, advice and support for students, will do nothing for the university's reputation in this difficult and uncertain time of huge fees rises" he adds "The university is acting with indecent haste in its efforts to axe staff. It needs to think again and we will be doing our utmost to ensure it does. We certainly cannot rule out strike action."

Fidelma Gallagher wrote
at 05:38:24 on 19 April 2011
Great story again by the Star although i am not sure about this man Moss. I believe it was brought to his attention that a university vice chancellor had given a pal a job as a professor without it being externally advertised while at the same time getting rid of 200 university staff and Martyn Moss couldnt even be bothered to reply.The same pal just happened to give the university £3 million of public money in his previous role, this remains a scandal and Mr Moss's blind eye approach is shameful.
 
UoS wrote
at 16:00:47 on 18 April 2011
@Andy - you've surmised it quite well. Anybody with a modicum of sense could've seen this coming. They've been exceeding capital budgets for some time, the government have all but scrapped HEFCE capital grants, as Martin Hall so eloquently puts it in his blog today, this means capital expenditure needs paying for out of ordinary fee income. The only options to cover the higher-than-expectation capital costs is to reduce expenditure elsewhere. Staffing is an obvious, revenue-rich resource with quick returns. The UCU should've seen this coming and objected to the wasted money at the time. To my knowledge, they've been silent on the farce since time immemorial. It's too late for them to do anything now except strike - and since strikes don't affect Universities (who get their income regardless of whether staff don't turn up for the odd day here and there), this is unlikely to change policy. @Bob - if only the Students' Union had the balls to run a story on it!
 
Stephen Kingston wrote
at 15:07:57 on 18 April 2011
See Bob's comment below... Not done intentionally. UCU are a Uni Union aren't they? Would be nice though if the University students union had some kind of reaction.
 
Bob wrote
at 15:04:48 on 18 April 2011
The title of this piece is very misleading and made me think it was the Students' Union at Salford that had reacted so angrily. I can't help thinking that this was done intentionally. Especially as the Salford Star has such a reputation for rampant sensationalism.
 
Andy Hollis wrote
at 15:04:36 on 18 April 2011
I like the logic of the comment by 'UoS': university management have messed up financially and it was the job of the union, with all their financial and managerial clout - and time - to make sure management behaved themselves...Perhaps UoS is confusing victims with perpetrators? S/He's certainly confusing something.
 
UoS wrote
at 12:57:22 on 18 April 2011
UCU really need a coherent financial analysis of why things have gotten to this stage. The original purpose of Project Headroom was to create an annual surplus of operating income to cover the costs of all this capital expenditure. What happened to that surplus? The University are now saying that they need to save £7m - but their IT replacement project ran at £2.6m over budget and, from what I understand at least, their MediaCityUK capital expenditure (fixtures and fittings) is running at least £4m over the budget originally provided to me by Michael Harloe. That's £6.6m right there (i.e. the entire sum of money that they're trying to save) pissed away by financial profligacy. What were the UCU doing when these sums were originally announced? What did they do when the £2.6m overspend on IT was announced at University Council? What did they say to the £20m loan drawn to finance MediaCityUK (which Harloe promised us was not necessary after Headroom)? They've not had their eye on the ball for a long time and, frankly, they only have themselves to blame. Some of us have been harping on about this financial profligacy for many many months. Now, yet again, highly skilled staff will be thrown on the scrap heap, a fact for which UCU are as culpable as the University.
 
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