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We can stop redundancies! – Email to all members 15 June 2018

Published: 17th June, 2018

Dear Leicester UCU Member,

We regretfully report that the University is continuing with its devastating plans to enter into a programme of redundancies affecting all areas of the University. Meetings with the Registrar and the Director of Human Resources have proved frustrating; we have been presented with limited information, a continued justification of “buildings over jobs” and little appreciation that alternative approaches are possible. They seem genuinely incredulous that we are willing to take a stance against redundancies – they are truly out of touch with members’ strength of feeling on this matter.

We have been told that we should expect a large number of business cases for potential redundancies, starting on Monday. There are 18 business cases already prepared, and more are to follow. In total these may well involve 70–100 potential redundancies – clearly far more destructive to academic and professional services departments than the “small number of targeted redundancies” outlined by Paul Boyle in his email of 17/5/18 and his subsequent presentation.

This is in addition to the non-renewal of fixed term contract staff despite the work continuing, and the de facto recruitment freeze which has increased the workload on many.

We can stop this. Our membership is large and strong, as demonstrated by the resent USS dispute. We are also unified – we recently unanimously voted in favour of a motion requesting that the University reverse its threat of redundancies and treat fixed term contract staff fairly. The University has rejected this and so we need to respond as we said we would, by balloting for strike action. This will now involve:

  • Formally issuing a letter of dispute to the University (letter)
  • Entering in to a very public exposure of the University’s priority of buildings over jobs. This starts with posters (empty office, building, gym) which you will see increasingly in the University
  • As is the norm, starting with an indicative ballot on strike action

The indicative ballot will open on Monday and remain open for three weeks (until 6th July). Each member (who are qualified to vote) will receive a unique voting link. Please ensure that you vote as a high turnout is required before we can continue to full ballot. Our branch was one of the strongest during the recent USS dispute – we can certainly do this again.

Voting in the indicative ballot is the only way we can stop these redundancies. We need to demonstrate strength now and show solidarity with our colleagues.

Many thanks,

Leicester UCU