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Strike action at Liverpool Hope University in jobs row

21 January 2011

Staff at Liverpool Hope University today refused to rule out strike action following confirmation that over 100 jobs are set to be lost at the institution, and at least 60 will be academic posts.

UCU has accused the university of making ill-informed decisions. The union says the institution must wait until its financial future becomes clearer before axing staff. At an emergency union meeting yesterday UCU members at Liverpool Hope University launched a campaign to save jobs and called for a ballot for industrial action.
Liverpool Hope University has a good reputation for its teacher training courses and UCU believes that the institution's management has reacted excessively to government ideas on its future. In a November white paper, the education secretary, Michael Gove, set out his plans to shift teacher training away from universities and focus it in schools.
The union says the university cannot axe jobs when it does not yet know what its teaching grant will be, what its quota of training places from the Training and Development Agency (TDA) will be, what the outcome of the government's proposals on the future of teaching training will be, or what level of tuition fee it will charge from 2012.
UCU is one of many critics of Michael Gove's plans. Responding to the white paper, Professor Sir Robert Burgess, vice-chancellor of the University of Leicester and chair of the universities' umbrella group's Teacher Education Advisory Group said: 'Research and inspection evidence is unequivocal: the best teacher education happens when universities and schools co-operate as full partners in the design, development and delivery of teacher education for the development of excellent teachers.'
UCU regional official, Martyn Moss, said: 'The university does not know what is happening to teacher education, it does not know what grant money it is going to receive and it does not know, or is not telling us, what level of fee it will charge from 2012. You just cannot operate like this.
'Making sweeping cuts to the university will not be easy to undo and the worst thing any institution can do right now is to make ill-informed decisions with serious short and long-term implications. Strike action is always a last resort but we have seen very little from the university management so far that gives us the confidence that the proposals have been properly thought through.'
Last updated: 11 December 2015