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Staff deliver vote of no confidence in University of Reading vice-chancellor

14 April 2016

Staff at the University of Reading have delivered a damning vote of no confidence in vice-chancellor Sir David Bell.

Staff from across the university have made their voice heard in an online survey organised by the 'Staff against PAS' group which was established in opposition to the university's management's controversial Professional and Administrative Staff (PAS) review.

The online vote was open to all staff and, of those who took part, 88% registered a vote of no confidence in Sir David and the review.

The review, part of a package of so-called efficiency measures being pushed through by the university management, has already resulted in the loss of many experienced members of staff, and the downgrading of others.

The University and College Union (UCU) gave its support to the staff-led vote which was accompanied by a set of demands including: no downgrading of roles; no compulsory redundancies; a suspension of the review pending a feasibility analysis; and an end to spending university funds on management consultants.

UCU branch president at the University of Reading, Paul Hatcher, said: 'The overwhelming vote of no confidence in the vice-chancellor shows the strength of opposition across the University of Reading to the cost cutting plans being proposed.

'Staff are worried about the review and its impact on students, jobs and working conditions. They are also concerned that key functions of the university are being centralised without adequate safeguards being put in place to ensure continuity of student support.  Delivering an excellent student experience depends upon a team working together, and academic-related and support staff are a vital part of the university workforce.

'It's time for the management of the University of Reading to start listening to concerns raised by staff. UCU is willing to talk and negotiate to find alternatives to downgrading and redundancies wherever possible.'