Glasgow set to axe 180 jobs

February 6, 1998

Glasgow University is set to axe 180 posts in a bid to cope with an impending Pounds 6 million deficit.

The university last year launched a scheme to shed 90 jobs over three years, and has already managed to earmark 70 jobs for early retirement and voluntary severance.

But principal Sir Graeme Davies has told staff that in the wake of Scottish Office budget announcements, Glasgow's revised financial forecasts reveal its recurrent deficit is set to top Pounds 4 million in 1998-99, rising to about Pounds 6 million in subsequent years.

Sir Graeme said Glasgow had reached the "difficult but necessary" decision to reduce its salary bill by Pounds 6 million before the next academic year, with as many voluntary redundancies and early retirements as possible by the end of July. The money saved would enable restructuring, with about 50 to 60 "new blood" posts being created, said Sir Graeme.

Sir Graeme predicted that other universities would shortly be following Glasgow's lead.

"We are all under the same financial pressure. I find it very difficult to believe that others aren't going to be in exactly the same position," he said.

Bill Stewart, president of Glasgow's Association of University Teachers, said: "I don't think we could be the only university to find itself in this particular situation. Up till now, Glasgow University has been pretty good in terms of financial management. This is as bad as it's been, and if this is coming to us, it will be coming to others as well."

But Dr Stewart said the AUT was reserving judgement on the size of the prospective deficit.

"We are certainly convinced that the university will be running a deficit at the end of the next financial year, but we still need to be convinced of the magnitude," he said.

Any job losses must be voluntary, and people must not be pressurised into going, or "fingered" for redundancy by heads of planning units. On the basis of the current figures, about 130 of the 180 redundancies would have to be academic and related staff to meet the financial targets, said Dr Stewart.

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