Swansea’s sacrificial plan: take pay cuts to avoid redundancies

Swansea University wants staff to take pay cuts of between 3 and 4 per cent in exchange for a “no redundancies” deal.

April 20, 2011

In an “unprecedented” development that other universities are likely to examine closely, Swansea has asked the unions to consider “a time-limited increment sacrifice scheme that will yield savings in the order of £1.5 million”.

The cut would apply only to staff on grade seven and above, covering academics, academic-related staff and senior managers.

Richard Davies, Swansea’s vice-chancellor, says in an email sent to staff today: “If this proposal for increment sacrifice is accepted by the trades unions, and agreement is reached, then the university commits itself not to dismiss any permanent staff (ie, all staff other than those whose fixed-term or fixed-funding contracts expire) through redundancy during the academic year 2011-12. The university hopes to renew this commitment to job security for 2012-13 and thereafter on an annual basis.”

Professor Davies adds that the proposal “will mean a 3 per cent reduction in expected salary” in 2011-12 for grades seven to 10. For those above grade 10, the cut would be 3.75 per cent. He calls the strategy “bold and unprecedented”.

Professor Davies cites the need to address “the significant reduction in the public funds available for investment in the higher education sector in Wales and the rest of the UK”.

Mike Robinson, national education officer for Unite, said that the union would be taking legal advice as the proposals potentially contravene sex discrimination and equal pay legislation and are “outside national agreements on pay spine progression”.

Mr Robinson said that the removal of the increment – which allows workers to build pay as they gain experience – would mean that staff doing the same jobs for similar lengths of time would be on different pay scales.

Swansea’s move raises questions about its involvement in higher education’s national bargaining and pay spine arrangement. But Professor Davies says: “National pay bargaining and national pay rates will continue to apply.”

john.morgan@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

celebrate, cheer, tef results

Emilie Murphy calls on those who challenged the teaching excellence framework methodology in the past to stop sharing their university ratings with pride