Sunday, June 16, 2024

Outcry over University of Portsmouth job cuts

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The dispute comes after the university put 163 academic staff at risk of redundancy on Tuesday (14 May) with over 20 set to lose their jobs. A further 434 academic related professional and support staff have also been put at risk and UCU estimates that up to 100 could go.  Staff are now being forced to reapply for their jobs at the same time as they are preparing students for year-end assessments and graduation.

The university claims it needs to make the cuts because of recruitment challenges and increased costs. UCU has now completed a vote of confidence in the vice-chancellor. In a poll that closed on Tuesday (14 May), 61% University of Portsmouth UCU members voted, and an overwhelming 94% said they have no confidence in the vice-chancellor.

The union challenged the rationale for the redundancies due to the almost £329m University of Portsmouth has in the bank and its plans to spend £250m on buildings. UCU has also launched a petition against the cuts.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘The University of Portsmouth is choosing to prioritise new buildings over the staff that support students and keep the university running. It has rushed through a redundancy process to make unnecessary job cuts when the money is there to avoid sackings. Now that staff have overwhelmingly shown they have no confidence in the vice-chancellor, the university must take stock and work with UCU to steady the ship and preserve the university’s status as a rich and thriving institution.’

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