University and college bosses plan job cuts in higher education


The University and Colleges Union has revealed that university and college bosses will not be making them any new pay offer and that many are seeking job cuts.

Submitted by Choccy on April 22, 2009

Following a meeting with Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) recently, the University and Colleges Union (UCU) and other trade unions were told that they would not be getting an initial pay offer and that jobs cuts could be expected across the higher education (HE) sector. Up to 100 HE institutions were making plans for collective redundancies

In a communication to members, UCU summarised the situation:

- no pay offer
- 100 institutions planning job cuts this year
- salary increases would need to be 'traded off' against job protection

UCU General Secretary, Sally Hunt, said university bosses "were keen to state that they wanted trade union negotiators to keep job security in mind", and also reported that the job cuts across the sector could be substantial:

"every worker whatever type of institution they work in, is potentially vulnerable as current proposals for cuts at institutions as varied as the universities of Liverpool, Reading, Hertfordshire, and London Metropolitan show.

In this situation of great uncertainty for staff across the UK, national negotiations are required to protect jobs. UCU has therefore asked UCEA to sit down with the unions now to reach a national agreement on the avoidance of redundancies by its member institutions."

UCU is seeking an agreement from employers to sit down with trade unions and discuss the situation by 20th April, and has said that if this does not happen, they will "consider balloting members for industrial action to secure an effective job protection agreement from the national employers."