Glasgow UCU backs action over redundancies

19 May 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

Industrial action at Glasgow University looks increasingly likely this afternoon after members of the UCU packed an emergency meeting and overwhelmingly backed calls for an industrial action ballot if the university did not immediately withdraw the threat of compulsory redundancies.

The university has targeted over 80 jobs losses in the Archaeology, Biomedical & Life Sciences and Education departments. The union says the job losses are unnecessary and that the university has broken promises to staff.

The union believes there is no economic case for the losses as the university is financially sound with over a £5 million surplus last year. However, certain departments appear to have been targeted for having spurious deficits, the detail of which the university has failed to divulge.

The union says it believes management is creating an illusion that the cuts are necessary in those areas by highlighting assumed deficits, but still operating an overall surplus and recruiting to senior management positions within the new structure.The union said these redundancies are back-door cost cutting for the restructure which will create intolerable working conditions for those who survive the cull.

Glasgow UCU President, Dave Anderson, said: 'The support for industrial action against targeted redundancies was overwhelming with a huge turnout. The university must now immediately withdrawal the threat of redundancies or we have no choice but to the move to ballot on industrial action.

'These cuts are not necessary and are being doing by the back-door to force staff out. The university is operating at a surplus overall and recruiting to senior management posts. This is no way to run an educational establishment and can only damage Glasgow's proud reputation.'

Scottish Official, Mary Senior, said: 'The members at the meeting were angry that their university was being run as a business based on balance sheets rather than a collegiate place of learning. The union refutes the financial reasons for these cuts and believes the university has failed in its duty to disclose the budgets to the unions.'

Note : Motion in full

UCUG wholeheartedly rejects management's proposed redundancies in Education and FBLS as well as the attempt on jobs in Arts. The illusion created by management is that these "cuts" are all based on an assumed deficit in each particular area, at a time when the university is operating a surplus and is recruiting to senior management positions within the new structure. UCUG declares these redundancies as back-door cost cutting for the restructure leading to job losses and creating intolerable working conditions for those remaining in the University.
UCUG therefore calls on the University to immediately withdraw the threat of compulsory redundancies and instructs the Committee to organise a local ballot on industrial action in defence of jobs and education.