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University of Central Lancashire threatens to slash 69 jobs

16 October 2020

The University of Central Lancashire is threatening to sack up to 69 staff. The university wrote to UCU to say staff would face the axe by March 2021.

The university claims it needs to make the cuts because of budget deficits and student recruitment, even though student numbers have increased from under 14,000 to over 18,000 in the past two years. Two hundred and forty staff have already accepted voluntary redundancy in the past 16 months, whilst the university plans to spend £44m on building works this year.

UCU said the increase in student numbers means that the university's claims make no sense and that the university needs to be replacing the staff it has already lost so that students get the best possible learning experience during the Covid-19 crisis.  The union said it is open to negotiating a way forward, but the university must change its position. Otherwise, UCU said it will take whatever steps necessary to defend its members' livelihoods, including balloting for industrial action.

UCU regional official Martyn Moss said: 'The University of Central Lancashire has already released 240 staff through voluntary redundancies over the past 16 months, whilst student numbers have increased. It makes no sense for it to cut even more staff, especially when students need support due to Covid. The university talks about budget deficits but it should be looking at cutting the millions it is spending on building works and using the money to keep the staff that students rely on.

'We urge the university to abandon a course of action which threatens to severely damage staff morale and student learning, and work with staff to steer through the challenges we are facing. We remain, as always, open to negotiating a way forward, but the threat to our members' jobs must be lifted before meaningful dialogue can take place. At the moment we have no choice but to take whatever steps necessary to defend our members' livelihoods, including balloting for industrial action.'