Mass redundancy announcement – the fightback starts here
Members will still be in shock at this morning’s announcement of the University’s plans for mass redundancies.
400 academic staff have had their futures thrown into doubt after having been declared at risk of redundancy. The University plans to get rid of a quarter of this number, plus a further 30 professional services staff.
The UCU Coordinating Committee met earlier today and agreed that such an attack demands the strongest response we can muster. Brighton UCU has policy to resist all redundancies with every means at our disposal, a policy which we have sought to follow in recent years every time redundancies have been announced. We are well aware that the statutory consultation process is not designed to force management to rethink, and that the only appropriate response is to mobilise for collective action.
These redundancies are a threat to us all, even those of us who are currently not on the ‘at risk’ list. Job losses in these numbers adversely affect the quality of the working conditions of those who survive, not to mention undermining the future viability of the institution. We can be sure that if the University gets away with shedding these jobs without resistance, they will be back for more redundancies next year.
We all need to stand together to defend jobs, and in opposition to the vandalism of our Vice Chancellor and senior management whose record of consistent mismanagement of the institution lies behind the current crisis.
A number of other UCU branches have demonstrated in the last few years that it is possible to fight back successfully against mass redundancies and to save jobs. We at Brighton were among the first to offer solidarity to Liverpool UCU during their epic and ultimately successful resistance to redundancies in 2020, and we can learn much from their struggle.
In the meantime, members who are at risk of redundancy are reminded that they should not attend any consultation meeting without trade union representation. Because of the numbers involved, representing members will stretch our casework team to the maximum but we are determined to support members through this distressing process. If a rep is not available for a meeting you have been invited to, do not be tempted to attend without one. The meeting will have to be rescheduled.
CoCom offers its solidarity to all those declared ‘at risk’ today, and looks forward to seeing you tomorrow to plan our fightback.