More protests on the way over cuts at UEA

Members of trade unions have announced more protests at the University East Anglia, as disputes over cost-cutting measures continue.

The UEA has confirmed that 113 redundancies are needed to address £30m debt. This includes 36 academics.

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Christine Bovis-Cnossen, says the aim is to achieve this number through voluntary redundancy. In an email to staff. However, she said “compulsory redundancy remains the last resort.”

Members of trade union UNISON will stage a protest against the cuts the cuts this Thursday.

UNISON’s UEA branch secretary Amanda Chenery-Howes said: “Staff did not cause UEA’s financial woes but university bosses want them to pay the price.”

“The simple fact is, bosses can’t cut their way out of this crisis.”

Amanda Chenery-Howes – UEA Branch Secretary, UNISON

“We hope staff and students will rally together for jobs, pay and the future of UEA.”

Members of the University and College Union also voted overwhelmingly for strike action against the cuts.

Joe Williams represents the UCU in the SaveUEA group. “Losing 113 staff will do us serious reputational damage,” he said.

“Losing 113 staff will do us serious reputational damage. Compulsory redundancies should be taken off the table”

Joe Williams, SaveUEA

“There are plenty of other ways we can save £30m. A salary cap of £100,000 would yield millions. The Digital Transformations Project could be delayed or shelved, yielding £19.62m. It is morally wrong to take away 113 people’s livelihoods for the sake of a glorified IT system.”

Departments at the university are being briefed on cost saving proposals for their areas, including any proposed staff reductions, this week.

In an email on Monday, Professor Bovis-Cnossen also says that staff who are being made redundant will be entitled to individual meetings and support.

“Over the next two weeks we will work through what this means for those individuals affected and what their options are. This means that some staff members are going to be hearing difficult news in the coming days.”

These meetings will start on Monday, June 19th.

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