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Redundancies comment #1 – Welcome back to the start of term

Published: 20th January, 2021

Our leadership team has another perfect moment for you, today emailing hundreds of staff to tell them they, or others in their teams, are at risk of redundancy. The timing is brutal, the process shady.

Throughout the pre-change engagement that supposedly informs these decisions, we asked repeatedly for access to the external consultancy reports feeding into those discussions. They Did… Nothing. No information for you… at a University!!!

Bizarrely, they refused access to the full report by DataHE and other consultancies they won’t even name, on the basis of being commercially sensitive to the third parties who produced them. What about OUR community? Maybe DataHE cofounder @AndrewdataHE can tell us more?

They keep stating decisions are not being driven by the current financial position of the university during the COVID pandemic, yet the decisions are so urgent they must be made now. While staff are at a workload pinchpoint, of an emergency workload, IN A RAGING PANDEMIC

We are in a triple workload crisis; Leicester UCU struck over this in early 2020. Many are operating under an emergency workload model since April 2020. It is a work-heavy time transitioning from semester 1 to 2.

WE ARE IN A PANDEMIC. How, how can ANYONE’s role be considered redundant?

We’ll be asking serious questions on how pools of at-risk staff have been created. For instance, we are told there will be “disinventment from research & scholarship in Critical Management Studies and Political Economy”, yet these are not formal units within the University Business School.

So how have these staff been grouped together? Someone with a more suspicious mind might be inclined to think they decided who they’d like to get rid of and came up with a way to group them together. We don’t think that. Obviously.

What does it say about a leadership team that has proposed compulsory redundancies and restructurings in 2016, 2018, and now 2021? When one restructuring goes badly, another one comes a long to rescue it, I guess. How about strategic vision that cares for education and people?

The executive board have asked us to ‘work with them’ on this. No. We’ll work with our colleagues, friends, comrades thrown under the bus at the worst possible time by your appalling lack of… everything to save people’s livelihoods and support them as they endure this.