Luton set to lay off 100 staff

January 16, 2004

Luton University will lose about 100 staff - more than 10 per cent of its total - through compulsory and voluntary redundancies, it emerged this week.

Twenty-two academics and 12 support staff have been identified for compulsory redundancy, the university's branch of lecturers' union Natfhe said this week. The university said the cuts were made necessary by underfunding and the loss of government grants due to falling student numbers.

The cost-cutting exercise follows voluntary redundancies last year and compulsory redundancies the year before. Almost 200 academic posts have been lost since 2001.

Frank Carr, Natfhe branch chair, said Luton would write on February 1 to all staff in the psychology, sport exercise and biological science departments, and to all principal lecturers outside the health science faculty, to warn them that their posts were at risk.

A restructuring is expected but no proposals have been produced.

A meeting, to be attended by Natfhe regional official Jenny Golden, will be held on Wednesday as the first step in opposing the cuts.

The university confirmed that up to 34 posts may be made compulsorily redundant. Les Ebdon, Luton's vice-chancellor, said he regretted the move.

"We have had to reduce our costs to ensure we have the flexibility to establish a robust and stable base for investment in our future development."

He said no subject areas would be closed and that all students would be able to complete their courses.

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