Union fights 50 cuts

September 28, 2007

Up to 50 academics at Bournemouth University are to be made redundant.

Paul Curran, the vice-chancellor, told staff in an e-mail this week: "To keep on an even keel financially we need to reduce ongoing academic salary costs by at least £2.2 million a year."

Twenty academic posts would be lost to make this saving, on top of 30 already achieved through a voluntary severance scheme offered this summer, he said.

A further 30 academics would be made redundant in order to achieve a balance between "teachers" and "externally facing" academics. These would be replaced by 30 new academics.

"It saddens me to tell you, therefore, that we now need to implement a compulsory redundancy programme," he concluded. The university's board approved the redundancy programme last week.

The University and College Union pledged to resist the redundancies "with all legal methods at their disposal".

Bournemouth UCU chair Kevin Moloney called the decision "a slap in the face for hard-working and diligent staff.

"We are united in opposition to these job losses and urge the board to reconsider its decision. They must draw back from the brink if they want to avoid doing irreparable damage to the university's ability to deliver its courses and attract students."

Bournemouth's strategic plan also involves efficiency savings in non-academic activities. "We are committed to an annual efficiency saving of at least 2 per cent in administrative staff costs, and through the autumn we will be conducting a thorough review of our administrative processes," Professor Curran said.

He was hopeful that in most cases the savings could be achieved through natural wastage and redeployment, he added.

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