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Funding increases should stop redundancies

20 March 2008

Funding increases for Scottish universities announced today mean that there is no need to rush into redundancy threats, said UCU today.

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) allocations for 2008-09 showed some real terms cuts but the additional and capital funding will yield increases in all institutions.

Figures produced by UCU show that all but one institution will receive real terms increases but without this extra funding ten institutions would have received a real terms cut. Further these cuts would have been even greater but for the smoothing out of the funding for the next financial year in applying finances to the academic year.

Of the institutions who have recently announced possible redundancy proposals, Dundee University has received a real terms increase of 1.7%, Heriot-Watt 1.6% and Glasgow Caledonian 1% in their SFC grants.

Terry Brotherstone, President of UCU Scotland, said: 'Yesterday's funding announcement means a real terms increase for everyone - including those institutions that have been talking about redundancies. There is simply no obvious financial justification for staff cuts, and we certainly reject compulsory redundancy as a restructuring device.'

'The fact that it required additional government funding to ensure that there would be no real-terms cuts highlights that the original settlement was a poor one - particularly in the light of the government's objectives of economic growth and social justice based on developing intellectual capital. We await the outcome of the Cabinet Secretary's very narrowly constituted Future Thinking Task Force to assess whether there is a will to resource future spending reviews in a way that matches these goals. In the meantime it is incumbent on the employers to behave responsibly and cautiously - and in full consultation with the unions - in discussing their forward planning.'

The additional funding announced by Fiona Hyslop MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Education, of £20 million for higher education has not been included in the SFC figures but UCU has calculated their likely distribution as shown in the table. Also not included in the SFC figures is the increase for capital funding welcomed by SFC Chief Executive, Roger McClure in the SFC media release.

The attached tables show the total resources for institutions and comparisons with last year's grants. It includes all formula-based grants and the allocation for additional funding of £20 million, where stated, so that the final two columns give the overall increases in funding as calculated by UCU. Real terms figures are based on the latest Treasury inflation figure, December 2007 of 3.25% for 2008-09.

Last updated: 14 December 2015