MMU plans up to 127 job losses

‘Outraged’ union intends to fight redundancies as university starts consultation. John Morgan reports

November 17, 2009

Up to 1 jobs will be cut at Manchester Metropolitan University under plans to deal with the impact of the recession and public spending cuts.

MMU, which employs about 4,200 staff, announced that it would reduce staffing across a number of support areas. It said the total reduction was “potentially 1 posts”.

The university said that it had begun consultations with unions and was doing all it could do to avoid compulsory redundancies.

John Brooks, the vice-chancellor, said: “We are taking action now to protect the university from cuts in public expenditure and to secure the jobs of the majority for the long-term future.

“It is crucial that we provide students with a high-quality experience that is efficiently delivered and fit for purpose. In the current economic storm, we are absolutely committed to proactively steering MMU to an even more successful future.”

Professor Brooks said there would be “no reduction” in the number of teaching or research staff and added that the student experience “should not be adversely affected”.

“By taking action now on staffing and making efficiency savings in all areas, we hope to avoid a potentially greater number of job losses in the future,” he said.

Unison said it was “outraged” by the announcement and was launching a campaign to oppose the redundancies.

A spokesman for the union said: “We believe that our members are being made to pay for years of mismanagement… Unison MMU will not stand for our members’ livelihoods being taken away. The proposed job cuts will affect the whole university. They will have an adverse impact on students and will severely damage the university’s relationship with the surrounding communities.”

The union Unite said it would fully support any action taken by Unison.

Dave Jones, regional Unite representative, said the situation could have been avoided if a national process for avoiding redundancy, part of the stalled negotiations between the Universities and Colleges Employers Association and the higher education unions, had been available for use by institutions.

Sally Hunt, the general secretary of the University and College Union, added: “We will examine the full detail of these cuts and speak urgently with our colleagues in the other unions. We are, as yet, unaware of any institution that has improved the student experience, especially where student numbers are expanding, by axeing staff.”

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