UCL staff at risk in secret £8m cull

June 28, 2002

University College London is secretly identifying staff for job losses as part of its attempts to save £8 million.

In a memo seen by The THES , Marilyn Gallyer, vice-provost of UCL, advises heads of departments to "approach the human resources division for written confidential advice on the likely cost to the department of the early retirement of a particular member of staff".

It continues: "If the head of department wishes to pursue the early retirementI then the head of department should either speak to the individual concerned or, if the head would prefer, contact the human resources division for advice on how the matter can best be approached with the individual."

UCL staff this week united to lobby the college council, which met on Wednesday to discuss a recovery plan that involves cutting all aspects of UCL's operations and focusing on core teaching and research areas.

The unions fear that early retirements will not make the necessary savings. Dave Guppy, president of the Association of University Teachers' UCL branch, said: "The local AUT is most concerned about staff in areas deemed not to be key or core areas."

A flyer for the lobby - backed by the AUT, Unison and Amicus - says: "We are receiving reports from staff who are being pressured to leave." It asks council to oppose compulsory redundancies.

A UCL spokesman said the memo was "nothing controversial" and that there were no proposals for redundancies.

  • Staff at London Guildhall University are being urged to record a vote of no confidence in the management of provost Roderick Floud and the chief executive of the University of North London, Brian Roper. Lecturers' union Natfhe is also seeking a vote against the merger of the two institutions. Voting ends today.

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