Unison members at Nottingham Trent University are being balloted on industrial action over a new redundancy policy.
The public service union claims the new policy will have a detrimental effect on a quarter of staff, mainly those over 45 and with a long service record. "These are traditionally the most expensive in terms of redundancy payments," a Unison spokesperson said.
The university maintains the changes were necessary because the original policy did not include staff under the age of 20 or above the age of 64, meaning that it fell foul of new age discrimination legislation. Unison argues that the revisions to the payment structure have gone beyond what was needed to make the policy compliant.
The University and College Union has also condemned the move. A spokesman accused the university of attempting to "cloud the issue" by referring to the age regulations.
"We recognise that from time to time policies need to be changed. However, the imposition of a new redundancy policy this year without negotiation and agreement with the trade unions was a deplorable action."
The university said that "every effort" had been made to reach agreement and that the benefits of the scheme were "significantly better than the minimum required by law".