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Strike threat at University of Lincoln as over 220 staff face the axe

18 April 2024

Staff at the University of Lincoln are poised to take a stand against brutal cuts. A consultation over potential strike action is set to begin Monday.

The looming threat targets over 220 employees, including one in ten academic staff. Cuts include the phasing out of the fashion degree and ending specialist support for widening participation students in the foundation studies centre. The centre's teaching team have been notified their jobs are at risk.

Despite the most recent accounts showing that in 2022/23 the university ran a £3m operating surplus and had £46m in cash reserves, a directive was issued last week, underscoring the necessity to slash the budget by £30m the end of the 2025 financial year.

Some cuts have already been made with modern languages provision being shut down and eight staff losing their jobs. 

The severity of these new cuts has ignited opposition among university staff. In a defiant response to management's refusal to rule out compulsory redundancies, over 150 staff attended an emergency Lincoln UCU branch meeting and voiced their opposition to the proposals. In a resolute stance against the proposed measures, UCU members adamantly opposed the dismissal of hundreds of their colleagues. The resounding decision was made to enter into an industrial dispute and begin consultations on potential strike action. The UCU Lincoln branch committee called upon university management to immediately renounce any plans for compulsory redundancies to avert campus disruptions.

UCU emphasised the irreparable harm these cuts would inflict on higher education in the East Midlands.

UCU Lincoln acting chair Dr Rob Dean said: 'It is simply impossible to slash so many jobs without severely impacting current students, future students and diminishing the university's vital role as a cornerstone of regional education. Furthermore, not only are many people in danger of losing their jobs, but we are also extremely concerned that those remaining will be left with unmanageable workloads. Without a transparent assessment of past decisions and a commitment to accountability, there is a risk of perpetuating the same errors, endangering the institution's future stability. However, the impact of this extends beyond the confines of academia. The local economy will also be affected. In a small city like Lincoln the number of proposed cuts threaten to undermine the socioeconomic fabric of the region, exacerbating existing challenges and inequalities.'

Last updated: 18 April 2024