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Northumbria

ʵ beats back Northumbria compulsory redundancies

28 March 2024

The University and College Union (ʵ) today said its members had faced down Northumbria University management's plans to force through compulsory redundancies for academic staff.

In an announcement to staff today, which comes after ʵ began balloting for last week, Northumbria's vice chancellor said the university would "formally rule out the possibility of compulsory redundancies" for academic staff.  

ʵ declared an industrial dispute earlier this month and opened a strike ballot after management previously refused to rule out such job cuts as part of a planned reduction in 'staff costs.' It welcomed the change of position from Northumbria management and said its branch is consulting members with a recommendation to end the dispute. 

The union said the abandonment of compulsory redundancy plans for academic staff was a testament to the strength of its members' industrial organising, and that vice chancellors elsewhere should take note that their plans for job cuts will be fiercely opposed.  

ʵ general secretary, Jo Grady said: "This is a testament to the strength of our branch at Northumbria, who have faced down a threat to the jobs of academic staff. It should serve as a warning to vice chancellors planning similar job cuts across the country: our members will not pay the price for financial mismanagement and a failed funding model. We will be tireless in organising, industrially and politically, to defend jobs."  

ʵ regional official, Jon Bryan said: "The university's announcement is welcome news for academic staff as they go into an Easter break and work hard to prepare students for final exams. It is a shame that this reassurance did not come sooner but it will give comfort to many people who have been rightly concerned about their livelihoods. The vice chancellor should now rule out compulsory redundancies for all staff, and reconsider his plans for cuts." 

Last updated: 8 April 2024