Demonstration on Thursday, 12.30pm, at University Place
University of Manchester Catering (UMC) is planning to reduce the availability of catering services in its halls of residence across the city. The plans have prompted concerns from students and from UNISON – some workers stand to lose up to 40% of their hours if the restructure goes ahead.
UNISON and UMC have been involved in negotiations regarding this restructure since the beginning of March. UMC has argued that the cuts are driven by financial pressures but information recently supplied by UMC at UNISON’s request clearly shows that Food in Residence has made profits year-on-year, totalling nearly £1.5m between 2010/11 and 2014/15.
UNISON is calling on University of Manchester Catering (UMC) to suspend its proposed restructure of its Food in Residence service and to enter into full discussions with the union.
Sean Gibson, UNISON North West Regional Organiser said:
“The proposed restructure would be damaging to students and to staff. Some of our members are sole breadwinners and their families will suffer if their working hours and incomes are cut. It was welcome news for staff when UMC decided to introduce the full living wage across campus in February, but this restructure would mean that UMC would be giving with one hand and taking with the other.
“The decision to restructure Food in Residence was taken without consultation with student bodies that represent the service users who actually pay for the service.
“It has now come to light that the Food in Residence section is very profitable. It makes no sense to be cutting this successful service and we believe this restructure is unnecessary.
“UNISON has written to UMC today requesting the suspension of their proposed restructure of Food in Residence services.”
UNISON, in conjunction, with University of Manchester Students’ Union will hold a demonstration at 12.30pm on Thursday 14 April at the University Place off Oxford Road in support of maintaining full Food in Residence services. This demonstration is being supported by the other Campus unions UCU and Unite.
Gareth Dawson, UNISON Branch Secretary at the University said:
“We would encourage all staff to attend the lunchtime demonstration to show support for colleagues who work for the Food in Residence section of UMC. The financial data requested by UNISON clearly shows a year on year profit made by this service. I struggle to understand the logic for this restructure.”