Union anger as up to 65 Glyndwr jobs face axe

Published date: 07 March 2014 |
Published by: Jonathan Grieve
Read more articles by Jonathan Grieve


UP to 65 jobs could be axed at Glyndwr University.

A consultation is under way at the university in Wrexham which could see the jobs go as part of an operational and academic reorganisation.

The consultation period ends on April 16.

The proposals could see 25 academic staff, five academic support staff and 35 operational staff lose their jobs and would affect the university’s main Wrexham campus. Campuses in Northop, London or St Asaph are not included in the proposals.

Vice chancellor Professor Michael Scott said the process will deliver an improved organisation which is cost effective, with solid foundations and with
a bright future.

But the Glyndwr branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has taken a vote of no confidence in Professor Scott. It said the proposals out for consultation are not coherent or a solution to the university’s difficulties. Leaders also blamed him for what it calls the current financial circumstances at the university.

The university expressed disappointment at the union’s stance.

The university faces financial difficulties after the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (Hefcw) reduced funding despite seeing a 32 per cent increase in admission acceptances in 2013-14.

A UCU Glyndwr branch spokesman said: “The branch has no confidence in Professor Scott, whom we hold directly responsible for the current financial circumstances at the university, whose current actions are bringing the university into disrepute and who we do not believe has the management and leadership ability to lead the university in the future.

“The GU UCU Branch does not accept the proposed plan being consulted on is coherent or a solution to the university’s difficulties.

“We have asked for further information about the proposals and we intend to propose an alternative plan.

“We are consulting our members further at this time.”

Glyndwr University currently employees 611 core staff.

A university spokesman confirmed up to 65 redundancies were being proposed, but added no decision would be taken until the end of the consultation period next month.

The spokesman said: “The university submitted a range of proposals for consideration to its employees on February 12. The requirement to engage in collective consultation means the university is consulting with the two currently recognised unions – UCU and Unison – in relation to the proposals.

“The university considers UCU’s actions in balloting its members on the proposals prior to any proper examination of them, to be disappointing.

“Our focus continues to be on engaging all the employees of the university in meaningful consultation on the proposals for change.

“In pursuance of this the university will not be diverted from continuing to operate within the agreed consultative framework.”

Professor Scott did not comment on the UCU branch’s vote of no confidence but said: “The Voluntary Severance Scheme last autumn addressed some of the financial challenges faced by Glyndwr University, and, running alongside consultation around headcount reduction, has been reopened until March 14.

“The university has put forward further proposals in consultation with staff, trade unions and stakeholders to deliver an operational and academic reorganisation that focuses on the requirements of its students and commercial partners, nationally and globally.

“The objective is to become more efficient and effective so quality is not diminished and standards are maintained.

“That said, changes are required if the university is to remain true to its mission of being market led, student centred, internationally significant and open to all.

“Throughout this process the university has been, and continues to be, transparent with staff and stakeholders and would like to thank them for their continued support.

“The outcome of this process will be an improved organisation which is cost effective, vital to the region, with solid foundations and a bright future.”

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