University of Salford management blame changes on financial pressures due to falling student numbers, as public sector trade union UNISON calls the move “a low in industrial relations”.
After 400 job losses within 4 years, University of Salford bosses wrote to all staff last week announcing their decision to reduce severance packages from April. These changes 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.
UNISON’s Regional Lead for Higher Education, Theresa Griffin, called the proposals: “unnecessary changes in the legal framework for collective redundancy consultation.”
She added “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. It is very disappointing to be presented with announcements without any advance warning or proper consultation with the recognised unions.”
With regard to the University of Salford holding the record for the highest number of redundancy consultations of any UK university, UNISON’s University of Salford Branch Secretary, Michele Barnes said:
“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 yesterday.”
UNISON and UCU held a joint members meeting with over 200 attendees on Wednesday 13th March to discuss the changes and further action to fight the proposals.