Source: Ian Roberts
The University and College Union said it was the 12th round of job cuts at Salford in the last 18 months, calling the institution “Britain’s most prolific university for axing staff”.
According to the UCU, the cuts, which would fall heaviest on library staff, were “being carried out under inferior terms and conditions that the university has imposed on staff”. The university confirmed there would be a minimum 45-day consultation period, rather than the more standard 90-day period, for the 171 professional services staff whose jobs could be at risk.
Salford said in a statement: “Sector-wide changes in higher education are the most serious that universities have faced for decades.
“Pressures including increases in tuition fees, visa issues affecting international students and student number control have resulted in a dramatic fall in student demand across the UK, with a substantial impact on Salford.”
The statement added: “No final decisions will be taken until the consultations have been completed and, although unfortunately we cannot rule out the potential for compulsory redundancies at this stage, we will, as always, take every possible step to avoid these.”
On the library, the university said it had announced a £1 million investment in a major upgrade to its central library facilities in the Clifford Whitworth Building.
This would provide on the main campus “a year round, 24/7 facility for all our students,” the university said. But “part of this investment will inevitably involve the redeployment of some library employees, and our proposal could affect 84 members of staff with up to 55 people potentially being made redundant”.
Martyn Moss, University and College Union regional official, said: “The University of Salford has the unenviable tag as Britain’s most prolific university for axing staff.”
Kevan Nelson, head of Unison in the North West, said students could be “put off from applying to the university; standards will be hit as staff numbers fall. Instead of pursuing a steady as she sinks strategy, the university needs to get into talks with unions to find a constructive way forward.”