Why are redundancies made?

QUESTION:
I have heard a lot of worrying rumours about redundancies.

Apparently seven IT specialists have already lost their jobs. The cleaners in the halls of residence have been given notice and the other cleaning staff are waiting to hear their fate shortly.

I am a little confused over this. I may well have missed something, but I thought that last year academic posts had been reviewed and this autumn it was the turn of admin staff. How do the IT people and the cleaners fit in with this?

Please could you confirm or deny these rumours and let staff know whether there are any further plans in the pipeline. I would also be interested in why these redundancies have been made. I hope it is nothing to do with savings being made in order to pay for the building works. It has been quite common in the FE sector, for example, to see brand new college buildings being paid for by laying off staff.

 
ANSWER:
Thank your for the question. The University will always attempt to ensure the highest levels of job security, in the context of our changing business needs. Recently the area of the Academic Development Unit has been reviewed and regrettably some redundancies are likely. There are also changes being made to the services provided in Commercial Services which has put some staff ‘at risk’.

We are working hard to try and redeploy staff wherever possible. I am unsure as to the reference to administrative staff in the question, but clearly the recent new ways of working roadshows explained to staff that structures are likely to change for a number of professional support staff areas post SITS implementation. On the latter point a recent all staff e mail signalled the opportunity for staff to get involved in this piece of work. We cannot comment on your understanding of the FE sector, but the changes are not linked to the building work being undertaken.

When will the remaining workstream recommendations be known?

QUESTION:
The next phase of the review of the remaining workstreams is going on, e.g. Academic, Admin and Technical staff.

When will the recommendations be known and implemented and are there likely to be redundancies or offers of early retirements/severances?

 
ANSWER:
Thank you for the question. Workstreams 2, 3 and 4, will shortly be announced to Faculty staff – the final stages of each of the proposals are currently being completed. There will then follow a short period of consultation, and following this, incorporating any amendments we will move to implementation.

We hope to achieve this as speedily as possible to minimise the impact upon staff within those areas. Potential redundancies are not yet known, because this very much depends on the final structures and the impact that this then has on staff. You may well recall that both Michael and Ian said at the all staff roadshows that we would minimise any impact of redundancy wherever we could – for example redeployment opportunities. As with any restructuring process, if an individual wishes to explore the opportunity of severance from the University we will always give this due consideration and in accordance with our procedures.

Workstream five, professional support staff will be reviewed as part of the development of the student systems project which will take place over the next two years – when the first stage is implemented in approx August 2014. This too has been shared recently through all staff roadshows.