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Stirling University urged to consult over job losses

19 June 2009

UCU today warned the University of Stirling to get its house in order on the issue of job cuts. The union said the university had failed to fulfil its legal duties and has made a mockery of its voluntary redundancy scheme by calling staff into meetings to discuss redundancy.

Ahead of Monday's meeting of the institution's top decision-making body – the Court of the University of Stirling – the union has appealed directly to the Court's members to direct the university away from a potentially disastrous redundancy programme.
UCU's Scottish Official, David Bleiman, said: 'It has now come to light that as long ago as February, the University of Stirling began contemplating redundancies.  The University's Strategy and Resources Committee noted at a meeting on 24 February that 'the possibility of redundancies would have to be seriously considered.'
'It is therefore astonishing that even now, four months later, the University has failed to commence legally required consultations to avoid such redundancies.  Instead, while not threatening compulsory redundancy, the university has rushed ahead with a half-baked voluntary severance scheme. This has been done without negotiation, proper consultation or an equality impact assessment and with a ludicrously short time frame for staff to express interest.
'We are also very concerned that UCU members report being called into meetings to discuss voluntary severance. Let's be clear, there is nothing voluntary about an involuntary meeting to discuss voluntary severance. The fact that the university has failed to develop its approach to voluntary severance in partnership with us does not augur well for the success of their unilateral initiative.
'We are keen to work with the university to resolve the financial challenges ahead in ways which protect the quality of student teaching and learning, avoid compulsory redundancy and, where staff leave, ensure that there is a fair and reasonable approach to covering workloads.
'We hope that the Court of the University of Stirling will give management the requisite steer to get back on the track of legal compliance and take up the hand of cooperation which we are offering.'
Last updated: 11 December 2015