Cuts at Guildhall put jobs at risk

July 7, 2000

London Guildhall University is to impose budget cuts of up to 19 per cent in nine departments despite a 7.5 per cent increase in funding for next year.

The university has cash reserves of Pounds 6 million and its books are balanced, but the cuts are to be imposed because "a balanced budget is not good enough", according to managers. It wants to create a surplus to put towards major refurbishment.

Unions said this week the cuts will inevitably lead to redundancies, making Guildhall a "second-rate institution where staff morale is rock bottom and courses and teaching standards will suffer".

Lecturers' union Natfhe said that the budget for next year will be cut by 19 per cent in sociology, 18 per cent in languages, 14 per cent in business studies and 10 per cent in politics. Four other departments will face cuts from 3 to 5 per cent.

The civilisation, aviation, psychology, computing, information systems and mathematics and law departments will have their budgets increased.

In a letter to staff, rector Roderick Floud blamed continued government funding cuts. He said that Guildhall needed to aim for a surplus of about Pounds 1.5 million, 3 per cent of the Pounds 50 million turnover. The law department needed a new building and three campuses needed "major" refurbishment, he said.

Professor Floud wrote: "Implementing this budget will be difficult for all of us. Some desirable things will not happen; some services will be reduced; some projects currently funded will come to an end as we concentrate on our core businesses.

"It is probable that some short-term jobs will not be funded... None of this is palatable, but it is necessary."

The unions said: "Cuts of 10 per cent, 15 per cent and 20 per cent cannot be made by just reducing quantities of paper clips and pens. Jobs will be lost.

"Flawed financial forecasts have resulted in what seems to be a regular four-yearly round of financial crises. Again the management and governors apparently prefer to build up the university's reserves at the expense of its staff and students."

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