Northampton staff fight threat of redundancies

July 27, 2001

Academics and support staff at University College Northampton are stepping up a campaign to fight the threat of 22 compulsory redundancies, writes Tony Tysome.

UCN managers have said the job cuts are needed to offset a £1.3 million budget shortfall because of under-recruitment and a subsequent funding hold-back by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

They plan to axe jobs in four areas - art and design, cultural studies, environmental science and social studies - rather than across the board.

But members of a joint action group against redundancies - formed by the Association of University Teachers, lecturers' union Natfhe and Unison - say the proposed cuts will jeopardise UCN's bid to become a fully fledged university.

The unions have spent months campaigning against the job losses. Managers have dismissed the joint action group's proposal, which prepare one-third of the college's cash reserves should be used to offset the budget shortfall instead.

American studies lecturer Ron Mendel, who chairs the joint action group, said UCN's managers had refused to guarantee that any voluntary redundancies made would replace compulsory job losses.

A management meeting on Monday will decide where the job losses will fall.

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