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University of Manchester under fire for job loss plans

24 April 2020

The University of Manchester has been criticised for threatening staff with job losses and pay cuts in response to the Covid-19 crisis. In an email to staff, the university said it is considering a range of cost-cutting measures.

UCU said it recognised that universities could face huge potential financial problems, but urged Manchester to halt swift plans to cut jobs and pay, and work with the union to secure vital government support.

UCU said staff had shown enormous goodwill, while adapting quickly and impressively to new methods of working, such as online teaching, and it was wrong of the university to threaten them with job cuts.

UCU regional official Martyn Moss said: 'We are disappointed the University of Manchester has acted with such haste to threaten these drastic measures, especially when staff have adapted so impressively to the current crisis to support students and the university.

'There is no denying that universities are facing new challenges in light of the crisis, but instead of short-sighted cuts we need the sector to pull together and make the case for vital funding to safeguard the future of our universities.

'We want all universities to work with us to secure the funding needed to ensure they are firing on all cylinders and can help lead the recovery from this crisis. We want to work with the University of Manchester to deal with the issues it faces locally and to protect jobs and its academic capacity.'

Last updated: 26 June 2020