Staff are targeted as King's cuts cost

August 25, 2000

King's College London is expected to shed more than 300 staff in its attempt to save up to Pounds 11 million.

The cuts will be made across the board despite balanced books and the sale of some prime property over the past two years. The jobs will go, the college said, to secure a 3 per cent surplus as recommended by the Higher Education Funding Council.

It is understood that the staff - more than 6 per cent of the 4,885 complement - will be shed over three years, starting from 2001-02. King's, which has a turnover of Pounds 300 million, has not decided where the redundancies will fall, or whether any departments will face the axe.

The college issued a statement saying: "The ten schools of the college have been requested to revise their business plans in order to avoid a potential funding gap of up to Pounds 11 million. These reviews may eventually result in a loss of posts over time."

Peter Emery, president of King's Association of University Teachers, said the association would oppose compulsory redundancies. "We are in discussions with the college and expect to avoid the worst consequences," he said.

It is thought that medical academics will be the worst hit. King's merged with the medical schools of St Thomas's Hospital and Guy's Hospital (the United Medical and Dental Schools) in 1998, and it is believed that further economies of scale resulting from the mergers are sought.

The spokesman said the college was entering a period of consolidation "in order to develop as a major international centre for research and teaching, and to withstand the financial pressures that the UK higher education sector is currently experiencing".

Pauline Walker, branch secretary of support staff union Unison, said: "The management reaction to problems is to thin down staff, leaving the staff to suffer for problems not caused by them."

She said that staffing levels are already worryingly low in some areas.

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